Danielle at the Tate Britain

As promised, here are some colour pics of the ooobop! Danielle I completed this weekend. Though there is actually not much colour to be seen… its a monochrome dress in any case! We had such a lovely day out at the Tate Britain on Sunday and a perfect opportunity to showcase my new dress! More remarks about my shoes than my dress but that was to be expected! I was approached on two separate occasions by visitors asking to photograph my feet and by many others who couldn’t help but to smile and pass comment. Attention seeking? Moi?!

danielle at the tate gallery

Cerith Wyn Evans' Chandelier. Morse code has never been so cool! The children loved drawing this one.

danielle with damien hurst butterflies

Damien Hirst's butterflies

danielle and stained glass

A girl can never have enough stripes!

zebra shoes

They are surprisingly comfortable . . . honest!

ooobop! Danielle dress

Danielle close up

The empire line of the Danielle is a winner for me!

danielle dress full length

Danielle dress hemmed just above the knee

Well first I must apologise for the incredibly bad photography. I just finished sewing and was  determined to make the post this evening! Really not a great idea to shoot under the low watt energy saver lightbulb at midnight! But hey ho, I hope you get the idea all the same. I will of course make an effort to get some daylight pictures soon.

I dutifully made a muslin for the bodice before I charged in to this one. I got the linen-like fabric from a charity shop… not seen it in any of my local fabric shops… and I really didn’t want to mess it up. The pattern was another of Burdastyle’s fabulous free patterns. And once you get over the mundane task of sticking all the pieces together, it really is a fantastically easy dress to make. I feel comfortable in an empire waist. It gives some much needed emphasis to my bust and takes the attention away from my more generous waistline!

The stripy bodice and sleeves are a bit AliceinWonderlandesque, don’t you think?

I lined the dress with some red poly lining and a jolly good thing that I did because the fabric is a little itchy. But in any case, it’s also a lovely feeling to slip slide a dress on without any ugly seams waving at you! I have some of the lining left over and have half a plan to make one of those lovely fabric flower corsages that keep popping up on Burdastyle. Sorry, just realised I’m talking about colour and teasing you with rubbish black and white photos!

Preparing for Danielle (and the burn test)

I have been making a Danielle dress, in my head, for well over a year! It was one of the first dresses I ‘favourited’ on Burdastyle. Since then there have been literally hundreds of amazing renditions, like these little beauties:

vivat danielle

Danielle cut-out dress by Vivat Veritas


Tartan sleeveless Danielle by Virginia Argumosa


Bubble Danielle by Ophelia K

I had long toyed with the idea of a stripy version, sans bubble, like Ophelia K’s. I bought the fabric and everything but bottled the idea of such extreme plagiarism! And so, one sunny walk to work, I was drawn into one of the few charity shops I know that has a small but regularly updated fabric selection. Two pieces screamed Danielle at me . . .

mystery fabric

mystery fabric intended for Danielle

£4.98 for the pair. More than enough with a bit left over, which will always be put to use. (Or put in the scrap box, intended for good use!) Was thinking stripy bodice and plain skirt with plain band, giving the impression of a very high waisted skirt. Perhaps with a stripy bow on the waistband.

It feels like linen and I would normally let sleeping dogs lie but since finding out about the ‘burn test’ it’s now a need-to-know-basis. And in any case. Im a stickler for pre-laundering nowadays and need to know how or if to wash it.

The Burn test

Before setting about this test it is important to have a bucket of water at the ready just in case! In a nutshell fabric burns differently according to its different fibre content, namely natural, synthetic or blend.  It takes a very experienced tester to define an exact fabric but with the basic knowledge its easy to tell synthetic from natural fibres. Make sure you use a small strip of material and burn over a fireproof dish.

I compared my mystery fabric to a piece of green linen and this is what happened . . .

burning fabric

The Burn Test

The mystery fabric took light immediately and the flame was high. I had to take the camera lens away quickly . . . close shave! It created lots of smelly black smoke and left a really hard crumbly residue, some which stuck to the plate.

The green linen took a while to ignite and then burnt with a steady flame. It left a really soft smudgy ash.

And so I have assumed that the mystery fabric is a blend with some cotton or wool content. It is a little bit itchy to the touch too so I think a little wool content is a better guess.

You can find a more comprehensive explanation of burn test findings at www.fabrics.net and here is an interesting chart if you want to get really specific www.ditzyprints.com

So here we are . . .

  • Fabric classified √
  • Fabric pre-laundered √
  • toile made (from ex curtain lining) √
  • kids in bed √
  • real work done Χ
  • miffed that I can’t finish it off this evening √
To be continued . . .