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Penny Dress around the World

Here I am again writing a blog post in English. That was not the plan, at least not from the beginning. (You need to know that my language skills are based on nine years of school English and steamy romance novels from the States. So please be gentle with me.) I’m on my way to change my whole blog from mainly German to mainly English (with some German exceptions). I realized that my readers are not only from Switzerland or Germany, but from all around the world, Stahlarbeit (which translates to steel work by the way) isn’t that small anymore as well. So that is that. Please let me know how you feel about this!

Here comes my contribution to the Penny Dress around the World tour. Within the last days you’ve probably seen Penny Dresses popping up on your Instagram or Facebook Feed. That is, to put it quite simple, my fault. But I don’t feel sorry, not at all. Some months ago when British pattern company Sew Over It London launched their Penny Dress I asked a couple of international sewing bloggers if they were in the mood to sew up samples for an independent tour organized by me. Guess what? They were. At the end we were 17 bloggers from Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

Sew Over It London loved our idea and gave us the pattern for free to work with. Thank you. And boom! I found myself in the middle of planning a huge blog tour. Fleurine from Norwegian blog Sew Mariefleur became my partner in crime and helped me to manage the whole thing. (Another note so self: Send Fleurine Swiss chocolate!) I’m so grateful for all my sewing buddies. Love you, guys… I mean…girls!

Now let’s talk about Penny. The shirt dress is both, traditional and modern. It comes with usual features like a collar, buttons and a (fake) placket. But the construction process has some short cuts in it, there is no collar stand and the bodice isn’t lined. In other words: If you are afraid of real shirts, Penny might be the perfect pattern for you.

I like the instructions, everything comes together nicely, what is another good thing. The half circle skirt requires tons of fabric and the hemming takes you like forever. But it’s worth the fabric and also worth the work. My grandma used to wear shirt dresses like this all the time and I loved it (and her). So feminine and classic.

I normally wear an European 48 (American size 16, GB = around 18). After measuring I opted for the 20, which is the biggest size included. Hint: If you are (as I am) in between sizes feel free to choose the smaller one. The bodice is squared and rather loose fitted. That makes adjustments easy, too. Some bloggers found the bodice to be too short. I’m not sure about that. For me it’s part of the vintage ’50s silhouette to have a bit of a higher waist line. I skipped the step where you should sew an encasing and put some elastic in because I don’t like something pinching my middle, but I do like wearing belts. That gave me some more bodice lenght, too. The drop sleeves are easy to sew but not the best choice for my full upper arms. I frankly prefer normal sleeves but you can’t have it all.

In spring I visited London with my family. We had a wonderful time there. (Don’t tell my husband, but one of the best moments was me entering Shaukat’s, a fabric shop specialized on selling older Liberty of London prints.) I brought five coupons of finest cotton lawn home. One became this Penny, one is still in my stash, three of my closest sewing friends got the other three coupons. Look, what Frölein Tilia, Sew Mariefleur and Kreamino made out of their share.

I think I’m done. Is it normal to be a bit exhausted after babbling along in a foreign language? Okay, good to know. Please don’t forget to visit todays participants Frölein Tilia and Kathis Nähwelt and all the other fellow bloggers on their blogs. You can find the tour dates below. Sew Over It London sponsored a give-away as well. If you enter the rafflecopter you can win one of five digital SOI patterns (free choice!).

Best from Switzerland

Bettina (Penny says hi!, too)


Pattern: Penny Dress (Sew Over It London)

Fabric: Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton, no idea about the name of this design

Sponsoring: The Penny Dress pattern was provided to me (and all the other bloggers) for the blog tour at no cost but the opinions stated above are solely my own. 



Tuesday, August 8th
EleonoreHello HolliMetterlinkThreadbear Garments

Wednesday, August 9th
Simply JanuaryMin DeernLiivi & Liivi

Thursday, August 10th
AennisewsKreaminoMein gewisses EtwasWalliBa

Friday, August 11th
Just Add FabricLittle CumquatSew Mariefleur

Saturday, August 12th
Froelein TiliaKathis NaehweltStahlarbeit


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Liebe Bettina, erst einmal: Du siehst so toll aus! Das Kleid steht dir wirklich wunderbar! Ich bin begeistert! Und ich danke dir (euch!) für die Blogtour! Seitdem ich den Schnitt das erste mal gesehen habe, schwirrt er mir im Kopf herum und es war toll, dass ich ihn jetzt gleich an vielen verschiedenen Frauen bewundern und mir ein besseres Bild machen konnte.

    Liebe Grüße,

    PS: Ich finde die Länge des Oberteils bei dir perfekt – macht den Schnitt doch irgendwie auch aus und passt zum Stil des Kleides!

  2. You have (as always) chosen the perfect fabric for this dress – the colors are fabulous on you! You have been a wonderful host for this tour and I am looking forward to the next one for sure 🙂

  3. You look beautiful Bettina, the colouring and print suits you perfectly! I’m a massive fan of Liberty of London too and can’t wait to sew one up in it. Thank you so much for organising the tour, it was great fun. Lookign forward to our next adventure.

  4. Bettina, thank you so much for organizing this amazing blog tour! It was so much fun being part of it!
    As I told you, I love your Penny Dress and I think you have chosen then perfect fabric. The colors suits you so well. To come to your question: I think it is a wise decision to change your blog language from german into english, since you have so many international readers.
    I love to read your blogpost no matter in what language! You always make me smile or learning new things.

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