Hot! The Concrete Jungle Dress | Valentine 500

The Facts
Fabric | Canvas.
Pattern | The top half of Butterick 4389 and the bottom half self drafted.
Year | Contemporary.
Notions | zip.
Time to complete | Approx 4hours.
First worn | for the photos.
Wear again? Sure.
Total price $19 a metre. | Valentine 5

I spied this canvas fabric in the furnishing section in Spotlight and thought ah why the heck not it’s red and dangerous I’m sure I can do something with it. I’ve never sewn an actual garment with canvas, tote bags and the like yes! but never a dress, I was a tad worried with how it would finish up but I tell you the way it sits is fantastic, the stiffness of the fabric allows you to add pleats very easily and they stay in place after pressing with no issues at all and because the fabric is stiff even after washing it manages to flatter the body hiding any bumps that say a flimsy cotton might enhance it just sits incredibly well. I like the heaviness of the fabric, to me it feels like an expensive garment.

Kazzthespazz | Valentine 2

This Butterick dress pattern is another one of my go-to patterns, there is just so much you can do with it, the bodice of this pattern is the most perfect fit for me therefore it makes the whole sewing process that much quicker instead of fussing about which I love. After I cut the bodice out I measured myself up for the skirt adding darts in front and back for a perfect fit. I could of tried to line up the pattern on the back seam but I was running out of fabric so had to make do. all the seams are serged and pressed the facing on the top of the bodice is interfaced and hand sewn down to stay in place. I hand blind hemmed the hem. I didn’t want a white stitch line going through the red

Kazzthespazz | Valentine3

With the left over fabric I wanted to create a pleated sash to place over my shoulder and across the body to add something interesting to the dress and that I did, I ironed in the pleats then stitched them into place across the shoulder then made a loop that sits on top to hide the stitch. It just looks a lot more professional this way.

Geez taking photos out in the public is so scary especially in a crowded place like this, I find that if I don’t make eye contact with anyone apart from hubby I can get through the process much quicker ha ha. I did relax after some people complimented on my whole look and then asked for a photo of me and then a photo of me with my family who were also dressed up, something we all enjoy doing every time we step out the front door and Melbourne is very supportive in that aspect, anything goes really, she welcomes it with open arms. | Valentine 4

Back to the dress…to make sure the sash sat on the waistline correctly I slipped into the dress and pinned it into place stabbing myself several times in the process, oh the things we do to get things right hey!?. Once I was happy with the placement of the sash both front and back I stitched it into place along the joining seam of the bodice and skirt, it sits just on the right of the zip on the back so when I climb into it I have to pop the sash over my head then zip her up. Belting out The Specials ‘Concrete Jungle’ in the middle of Melbs resulted in a severe case of stage fright— as you can imagine, so I just hummed the melody over and over in my head as I marched up and down one of my favourite places in this wonderful city, Hosier Lane, a ever evolving art-space for stencillers and graffiti artists to express themselves, you can spend hours just looking at all the fantastic artwork on display if you squint at the photo above this one you can see a bride and groom having there wedding photos taken. I totally blend in haha.

Hey Sew Weekly will you be my Valentine?



Eclectic, fun loving seamstress sewing to the beat of her own drum.


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  1. You look mah-velous, darling…just mah-velous! The print and pleats are to die for. You are my hero and a half. And, by the homage I made to you in my post this week, you’ll see that you were indeed my Valentine muse. Love ya, Boo!

  2. WOW! This dress is gorgeous! I’d never have guess it was upholstery fabric! It looks very suited to this project, and also looks as expensive as you described it feels. I love the back drop to your photos! My sister just returned from a trip to Melbourne and took 100s of shots of Hosier Lane. It must be cool to be so close and see how it evolves over time!

    P.S. Your shoes are HOTT!

  3. I love upholstery fabric! I’m always drawn to their patterns more than apparel weights. Great job working it out!

  4. That pleated sash over the shoulder is genius. And thank you for pushing the boundaries for more timid newbies like me…I look to you as one of the Sew Weekly generals charging forward into unknown territory and inspiring us to be braver….I am not only inspired to use canvas or heavier upholstery fabrics sometime this year, but also try some self-drafting and personalising of patterns AND photoshoots in more populated areas. Lead on!

    • Thank you Tempest, I’m very flattered that you view me as a boundary pusher. Sew Weekly is bringing out the best in me. I can always see potential in a standard pattern, with the right fabric choice it can look a million dollars after a few tweaks. Leading on :)

  5. This is such a wonderful dress! The pleated sash totally makes it imo, that and the fabric!

    I have to ask: How do you walk in those shoes?! You must have mad skills! :)

    • Yep I agree the sash does make it. A perfect union between pattern and fabric I hope.
      I tip toed over the cobblestones hehe, and as you can see I just stuck to the path LOL! smart move I say.

  6. Kazzalicious, wow I would wear this in a hot minate. Looks fun and love the surroundings in the photo.

  7. amazing dress.. i love everything about it – color, fabric, cut.. and that fabulous pleated thingy is my favorite part..

  8. Definitely Kazzilicious (to borrow from Krista). LOVE this dress…you can’t even tell it’s canvas and you’re right the way it holds the shape is just divine! FABULOUS photos! I love that first photo with the girl taking a picture of you! BRILLIANT! You never cease to inspire!

  9. That’s amazing, yet another winner!

  10. This is absolutely mind blowing! I love the fabric, love the cut, love the shoes! And speaking of… I’m with Debi, how DO you walk in those things!? As usual, Kazz, fabulous from head to heel.

  11. Kazz this is great. I love me a firm fabric, especially over a wobbly bottom. Digging the cowrie shell bracelet too. And how good are Melbourne’s laneways – seriously Tourism Victoria should pay you a commish! x

    • Ha Ha they’re fantastic! I’ll take the commish :P. Firm fabrics mean firm buttocks. I thought the cowrie matched the pattern on the fabric, a nice touch. Thanks Trish.

  12. Beautiful! I would’ve never guessed this was Canvas. I thought a nice flowy fabric. I may have to experiment with this fabric in the future. And bonus, anything that hides any body issues is awesome! I hear ya about public photography. I get so embarrassed about it. I figure after I do it more often I’ll get comfortable with it. Anyway, I love your dress. Great job!

  13. Thanks Clarrissa. Glad you like it. Canvas is the new spanx get onto it :)

  14. I love me some ska too x

  15. Amazing! I love that fabric! Your pictures make me want to come visit all those cool looking places!

  16. Kazz, that transformation for that pattern… Great idea xx

  17. You stand out so fantastically against all others in those photos – you put their styling efforts to shame. Positively vibrant!

  18. Kazz-I love the idea for the sash. I’ll have to try that sometime. You styled it perfectly too. It’s funny because I was telling my husband that you look so comfortable having your picture taken. That’s something I’m working on.

  19. The dress and you, both fabulous!! I really like it and like you said it looks expensive! It looks like designer garment

  20. I admire your style! I look forward to seeing your outfit and your photo-shoot every week. You take such artistic pictures in very interesting places. I admire your courage to get right out there in public. During my last shoot at the local museum, I was sure someone was going to recognize me. Now, I’m thinking maybe that’s a good thing!

  21. Love Love Love it!

  22. Really lovely dress, the fabric and pleated one should are really fab and I love that other people wanted pictures with you.

  23. And…you’re my favoritest person ever. Bravo for braving the crowds and rocking that look on the street!