And another big WARM greeting to all of my sewing friends. Welcome to Part 2 of the BRENDA SYMPHONY (thankyou Saundra R x) other wise known as the Brenda Dress Pattern Tester Roundup Part 2.
So please my friends I would love you to give a massive WOO HOO for all of our AMAZING pattern tester roadies and their gorgeous dresses. . xx
(AU/UK) 6 – 30
(US) 2 – 26
(EU) 34 – 58
Cup Sizes – B, C, D, DD
On Sale for a limited time only – $9.50(US)
Very Confident Advanced Beginner and Above Sewing level
Hi, I am Annet
and i live in the Netherlands. I choose a scuba crepe with flower print and a jeans blue scuba crepe. This fabric comes from the dutch webshop Driessen stoffen. The Brenda
is a very easy sew. But take your sizes good and make your modifications good. Then do you have a perfect dress! I have made the petal sleeves and the pleated sleeves and i love them both! The Petal sleeves gives me an happy feeling. My Brenda
fits perfectly, i dont have make any alternations. I dont have worn my Brenda
‘s yet, so the weather is very cold and wet in the Netherlands at the moment, and i have it always cold. But with the coming spring and summer i go wear it so much.
You can find al of my creations on my instagram account! Nice to meet you there!
Hi! My name is Arina de M
and I live in Katwijk Sea. I used a beautiful Scuba Crepe for my Brenda
Dress, which I actually doubted I liked. But wanted to go out of the box with the print. Now I am so glad I did because I feel really great in my Brenda
Dress. I bought the fabric at www.hollandstoffenhuis.nl Measure yourself carefully and make a toile first, as Ann always advises. I like a bit of chic, combined with cool, and I immediately knew that I wanted to wear cool cowboy boots with this. I’ve worn my Brenda
several times and get nothing but great compliments. I can’t wait to show it to the rest of the world.
Hello, my name is Christine M and I live exactly in the center of the Netherlands. It’s called Amersfoort.
The red retro print is a ponte and the green is scuba crepe, both fabrics I bought from my local fabric stores on the day stores reopened after 3 months of total lockdown. When sewing the Brenda
dress, take a good look at the size charts (which I didn’t manage the first time). Especially if your bust is larger than cup B, then you choose the size of the garment by measuring your upper bust. The good thing is: this pattern has different cup sizes, so you don’t have to do FBA, just check which cup you want to print. After I worked this out, the size was perfect and I didn’t need any adjustment. The pattern works like the dream !! For the blue dress I used the pencil skirt above knee height and bishop sleeves. The sleeves are fantastic, but I always feel a bit insecure wearing pencil skirts because of my belly/stomach. (especially if I want to breathe 🙂 )For the red ponte I used the pleated sleeve, because the back of this fabric is white and I didn’t want that for the petal sleeve. I’ve used the flared skirt that gives me the waist I want and makes me feel more confident. The green one also has the flared skirt and the prettiest petal sleeves. This skirt is slightly shorter than the red one. All dresses have the V-neck because I love how it looks and feels. I haven’t worn them yet because nowhere going 🙁 but I showed the pictures to some people and everyone loves them !! Most importantly I love them and will wear them a lot !!!
Hi, I’m Carmen from Georgia.
I chose a medium weight techno scuba for my Brenda
and it turned out super classy. A sewing tip I would share when sewing the Brenda
would be to get a rolled hem foot if you don’t have a serger so you can get the perfectly rolled edges for the petal sleeves.
I chose the knee length Brenda
with long petal sleeves, a round neck, and a figure-hugging pencil skirt. I thought the sleeves can add a beautiful touch of whimsy to any design and really make an outfit standout.
One of the alterations I make for almost all dress patterns is a small sway back adjustment which helps tremendously. I also usually shorten the bodice, but not always the skirt. The Brenda
is a pencil dress style intended to flatter your frame. Pencil this dress into your next holiday event or date night. The pattern also comes with bishop sleeves and pleated cuff 3/4 sleeves. I feel like the three sleeves choices really make this dress pattern stand out. The Brenda
is a dress you can choice to make over and over all year round. This is particularly useful when transitioning from winter spring as you can wear the bishop sleeve to stay warm and then make another dress with the petal sleeves to stay cool.
Hi my name is Jennie L, and I live in Virginia, in the United States. I made my dress using a scuba crepe fabric from Fabric Wholesale Direct.
This was my first clothing pattern made using a projector, and I am so thrilled with how much easier it was! This dress was not hard to sew at all, and of course Ann includes everything you need to know in the pattern. The only alteration I needed to make was to grade out a size for my hips. For my next Brenda
dress I will definitely make a shorter length, as I know that will make Ann happy. 😊 Unfortunately I haven’t been able to wear my dress out yet, but hopefully I will soon because it’s such a beautiful dress.
Hi all, Love to meet you all here! I am Jose V W, from the Netherlands, and I want you to meet my lovely Sister in law! She gracefully volunteered to model a few dresses for me, since I’m practically bursting at the seams with my #2.
Might have been that she practically jumped the opportunity to have some DS dresses for herself too, after practically begging for some seeing my previous makes 😉.
I had no troubles with getting the fit right for her. I measured, checked the measurements table and ended up with the perfect fit first time around.
As easy as it sounds, it was👌
We picked up some scuba crêpe for these dresses at the best assorted web shop for scuba crêpe in the Netherlands.
We picked a flowered one for a Brenda
with high neckline and petal sleeves
The red scuba crêpe with high neckline and bishop sleeves knocked it out of the ball park.
My best tip for sewing this dress is to make sure to have the darts facing each other, so the butt up to each other when sewing the cross seams, and you’ll have perfectly matched up darts showing on the right side each time.
My narrow rolled hem foot for the sewing machine was also a very handy tool for getting a nice hem on the petal sleeves too.
Make sure you don’t skip understitching the neck facing and tacking it down at the shoulders and back. It will help you keeping the facing in place.
“Girl you need to get your man and get out on town with this dress because it needs to be showing off”
“Neat dress on you”
“I want one too!” (her sisters upon seeing her with the dress)
Now I’ll let you off to see where to find some gorgeous fabrics for your very own Brenda
dress, I promise you’ll look as stunning as my SIL, so go go go !
For more pics :
hi, my name is Karin
and I am a new member of this amazing pattern testing group. The Brenda
was my first pattern to test. I made the version with petal sleeves and round neck. I scooped the neckline a bit.
I was very pleased with the outcome. Without any alterations I already had a nice fit and I feel very feminine in this dress.
I made a rolled hem on the petal sleeves because my scuba was too thick to hem in a normal way.
I didn’t wear my dress yet, but will definitely when the time comes.
I have no blog or Instagram.
Hi, I’m Luana and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I used a techno crepe to make the final version of my Brenda
dress. I bought it from Sincerely Rylee Fabrics, but I recently found it from Knitpop as well (here is my referral link https://bit.ly/3rS95f6
). While for my toile I used a scuba fabric that I bought from So Sew English Fabrics.
has a beautiful fit. I didn’t find anything particularly difficult while sewing it, maybe just hemming the petal sleeves without having them rolling over (for which Ann suggested a good steam which fixed the issue). Also, you might need an invisible stitch to keep the neck facing in place, depending on the fabric used.
I chose the shortest skirt option with V neckline and petal sleeves. I didn’t need any alterations, a perfect fit at first try 😍
I worn both my Brenda
dresses, one for dinner and one for my birthday party. I received a ton of compliments, at dinner even from the waitress, while friends at my party told me that they’re continuously impressed by my sewing skills.
here, from the Netherlands. Let me tell you about my journey with Brenda
, alas it was not an easy one 😅
I am a proudly pear shaped woman, but my hips run quite low, it’s more upper legs and finding a fitted dress that gives me a WOW feeling has been a true struggle. I blended sizes from 4 upper body, to 5 waist and 7 hips. If you recognize these sizes, here’s what Ann taught me: I made a skirt starting with size 5, going to 7 a soon as possible. I then pinned the excess fabric and stitched across these lines. Basically my hipline dipped 10 cm 😱. I lengthened the skirt darts by 3 cm. After the fit was perfect, I serged the edges off and put them on my pattern pieces and voila perfect fitting pattern pieces! Last but not least, I took in the shoulders by 2 cm because the sleeves were hanging off too much. I could not have made this perfect fitting dress if not for Ann’s guidance so don’t be scared – you can do it and Ann is always helping out in pattern support. And sometimes frustrating, she is always right 😂
I used Scuba Crepe fabric for my dresses and there will be more to follow! I feel like Donna from Suits in this dress, and that in my own body ❤️
Good morning beautiful sewing friends! Melissa here in colorful Colorado.
I made my two eldest daughters beautiful Brenda
dresses in black scuba. The fabric was purchased from JoAnn fabrics here in Pueblo.
The selection was extremely slim, black was it! Yet they turned out lovely and the girls loved them.
I’m rather tied down right now due to caring for two elderly and ill family members. So my shopping was delegated to my eldest daughter.
I made Chelsea the long length, v neck, cuffed sleeve an I made Cherish the long length, v neck, Bishop sleeve. As always my advice is to take care in sizing your pattern. Don’t let grading sizes scare you. If I doubt go a bit large, baste together, try on wrong side out and pin to fit.
My girls are very curvy and the fit is so important for showing them off not adding bulk.
The girls haven’t worn their Brenda
s yet due to the crazy life we are all living due to quarantine, but had a lot of silliness when trying to photograph.
I encourage you all to add this incredibly easy, yet highly fashionable dress to your wardrobe. It is now a staple in my pattern collection. My middle daughter wears professional business attire daily ( when we are not quarantined) and the lovely Brenda
hello everyone, I’m Shardee from the Netherlands.
And I’m addicted to the Brenda
Made all the sleeves and de 2 skirts.
I used scuba crepe for the dress. And it wears so light.
I’m planning to make one in the longest version, but I can’t decide what sleeves 🙈
Hi, I’m Sonia and I live in SW Missouri in the United States.
I used two different weights of scuba crepe for my Brenda
‘s. A medium weight for the pink and a lightweight for the black and white. Unfortunately my local fabric shop is not online.
My biggest tip is to pay close attention to the facing, depending on the stretch of your fabric you may need to cut it down just a bit in order for it to lay flat.
My wearable toille was a straight skirt and bishop sleeves and the second one I made using the petal sleeves and flared skirt. I do plan to make another with pleated sleeves.
I wore my Brenda
at Easter and received so many compliments! People were really impressed with the bishop sleeves.
My name is Stacey and I live on the south coast of England.
I used a textured scuba knit to make my dress that I bought from https://northernmonkeymakes.com/
As this dress is fitted my top tip would be to measure twice and grade between sizes where needed.
I chose the shorter length, v neck and the pleated sleeves, because I love how they look!
I just had to do a small sway back alteration to get the perfect fit for me, everything else was spot on.
I haven’t had an occasion to wear it yet, but my family says it looks great!!
My name is Synthia
and I live in Central Ca. I have been wanting to make a nice fancy black dress, and I did. I found the Brenda
dress to be the perfect black dress design. I can’t describe the fabric used, but it had a nice stretch and weight to it for the Brenda
. I made the below the knee version, with the longer balloon sleeve. I used a lace for the lower half of the sleeve. I love how the fit feels on me, not too tight and not too loose. An important tip, when ironing make sure to use a piece of fabric over your fabric to prevent stains. I even made a short video clip, that’s how happy I was with the Brenda
. Thank you Ann for an awesome dress design.
My name is Vi and I am from Melbourne Australia.
I used scuba crepe from Spotlight (a dream to sew – it does not fray and provides just the right amount of drape and structure).
In terms of sewing tips… I big stitched many seams (e.g. side seams) before serging them. It allows you to check that the fit is right and take seams in easily. It also makes using the overlocker a piece of cake as you don’t need to worry about pins being chomped! Working with knits is new for me and I found this pattern very easy to follow. Those who have worked with Designer Stitch patterns before will know that the step by step instructions are the best going around – clear, great illustrations, tips on when to press seams open etc.
I made the bishop style sleeves (so 70s!) With round neck and pencil skirt – love this silhouette! I’m sure this will be the first of many Brenda
‘s as all the sleeve options are gorgeous.
I made a size 2 and a half. Being 5’1″ – I shortened the bodice by 2cm (short torso) and sleeves by 5cm (short arms). I took in the side seams of the bodice and shaved off some of the side seams of the skirt to get the pencil skirt look. Also skipped the central back zipper as there was enough stretch for me to pull it straight on.
Am yet to wear this outside the house – but am looking forward to it – it is sooooo comfortable being stretchy.
Hi my name is Trish
and I live in rural Oxfordshire in the UK. I chose scuba fabric for my dress which I purchased from Fabric Styles. They have a great range of scuba at decent prices. The Brenda
is a straightforward sew but the thickness of scuba fabric can get a bit bulky so use plenty of pins! I chose the round neck with the pleated sleeves and wide skirt and one with a v-neck and fitted skirt. I needed to slightly take in the v-neck version but next time would go down a size in the top.
I’ve worn my Brenda
to work and received loads of complements!!