"Susan Dress" Sewing Project by Marion Barry

Hello everyone,

I am so happy to share with you my first make using the gorgeous fabrics from Elliot Berman Textiles.

As I live in Ireland I had to wait for what seemed like forever for the post to arrive. After two weeks of my package being held up in customs I finally received it.

Well … it was worth the wait. I had picked out a vibrant border design viscose crepe with deep rich colours of rust, black and cornflower blue. The leaves almost look like peacock feathers, It’s truly divine. I knew it had to be a special pattern to go with this amazing fabric.

It has the most beautiful drape but has plenty of body to make a soft blouse or dress. It has an 8/10 for opaqueness.

I wanted to show off the border but I wanted to do something different. It can be easy to fall into the safe zone and make a shirt and palazzo trousers.

I had my eye on a pattern for a while but I was waiting out for the right material. I think it’s the perfect match and should showcase all the different details on the material.

I also love a wrap as it’s very figure flattering. This pattern can take me from day to evening which is exactly what I want at this time of year.

It’s from a Russian independent pattern maker called Viki sews https://vikisews.com/vykrojki/platja-i-sarafany/plate-sjuzan/

The website also has an English section so there’s lots of choice for everyone.

Honestly there's were so many gorgeous pattern on this website that I ended up buying 10!


As we are starting to enter the party season I want a dress that I can wear going out for a meal with friends or dinner in the evening.

Here is my inspo for my dress. I love all things jungle inspired and this was no exception. It’s so in for winter 2021/22. And the catwalks are awash with different versions of similar materials in jewel colours. 


Look at those gorgeous colours.


I always give viscose a wash first before I start cutting out@30c deg /86f deg. If it shrinks it’s better it does now than when you have your garment made up. How upset would you be !!! 

It irons really well and I took my time cutting out the pattern as viscose can shift about a lot. I bought large washers from my local hardware store and there perfect as pattern weights! 

I always use a fresh needle microtec 70 for viscose as you don’t want the needle to snag your new fabric.


I added 4 cm /1.5 inches to the bodice as I’ve a long back. 5cm /2inches to the hem line as I like my dresses long and I added long sleeves with a placket and cuffs as it’s cold this time of year.


It was a juggle to squeeze the border onto all the pieces I wanted. It was a bit like pattern Tetris but after a lot of re jigging I managed to get everything I wanted cut out. 

I cut the shoulder yoke and back in the border as well.


It’s looking good. And I cannot wait to get it all stitched up.


It’s got a half lining in the skirt as well. With an invisible zip to the side so lots yet to do!!

~ Marion Barry

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