Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Burda of the month: 8/2012 #133 dress

So glad this dress is finished.  Ever been partway through a project thinking there is a better way to do this, and wondering why didn't the pattern designer do things the easy way? The answer being that this is a Burda pattern and they love to do things the hard way.... 

I found it hard to pick a project for the August issue challenge, not because there wasn't anything decent but because there were too many projects that caught my eye - for change.  There is a lovely fitted, pleated neck dress with shoulder detail (Trena aka the Slapdash Sewist made an awesome version of here), a fitted jacket with interesting seam lines, and of course the cover peplum top.  But since we're coming into summer around these parts I wanted to make a light and airy sundress, so I chose to make the full skirted dress, #133:



Instead of the front bodice having two waist darts and two bust darts (ie the simplest way), the pattern consists of two side bodice inset pieces that get sewn to the main front bodice piece (the more fiddly way to achieve the same shaping in my opinion).  Getting that triangular meeting point sewn in without puckers took several tries and sorely tested my patience, although I managed to get the lining done perfectly first try.  Of course.  For anyone else attempting this pattern, The Sewing Princess who also made a lovely version recommended Paco Peralto's tutorial for doing the bust point - this should help stop a few grey hairs and/or swear words! Thanks for the tip Silvia.

The magazine suggests a wool crepe, and whilst that is my favourite fabric I chose to make my dress in a crisp cotton from the stash that I picked up in an opshop a while ago.  It is a rather bright mustard, black and white print which is not my usual style, but I think it looks rather snazzy:





And look, I even managed to match up the print across the back perfectly, and avoided the dreaded 'bullseye' effect on the front too.

I made a number of changes to the pattern, after doing a pin fit with the pattern pieces (a benefit of tracing onto interfacing instead of paper):
  • lowered the neckline by two centimetres at the front because it sat a little too high on my throat and felt constrictive.  This also made the neckline more into a bateau style, which is my favourite style;
  • shortened the skirt by 10cm, because it would have hit my mid calf otherwise which is a difficult length to wear;
  • lengthened the bodice by 5cm because it felt too high waisted (what can I say - I'm a child of the 90s when low slung everything was how it was done).  Although looking at the photos it probably would have been more flattering to have it finish at my natural waist;
  • moved the side zip to a centre back zip, just because I don't like the feeling of the zipper digging into my fleshy underarm area.  This meant I could get rid of the side seams on the skirt (yay less pattern matching to do!) and just have one long piece with a centre back seam since I cut this on the lengthwise grain.  It also meant I could line the bodice using the sleeveless dress method (neck and arm seams first, side seams last) which neatly enclosed the cap sleeves; and
  • made pleats for the skirt instead of gathering because gathering does my head in and plus pleats sit a little flatter than gathering so it's less bulky at the waistine.  
The skirt is wide enough to give some volume without looking too costumey or being a risk on a windy day.  It's even just wide enough to do a little twirl - wonder where my daughter gets that fascination from?



I wore this out shopping today with a narrow black belt which defined the waistline well, but it kept sliding upwards so I may sew some belt loops on the waist seam to stop that happening since I like it better with a belt. 


I did also wear this with some black high heel sandals, but annoyingly the strap broke on one of them whilst I was out shopping and I had to clomp around which is not a good look but at least now I have a legitimate reason to go shoe shopping - replacement shoes barely count in the shoe shopping stakes! And since it's been a bit chilly these last few days I wore this out with a cropped black jacket, which almost makes this look like a skirt + top combo and a double duty outfit is always a good thing.





Overall I think this is a good pattern, if somewhat fiddly.  I didn't look at the Burda instructions so I don't know if they were any good but I doubt it.  However I don't think I will make this again purely because I have so many other patterns in this same style that are easier to sew - why make things harder on yourself?

44 comments:

  1. Good grief, I love this dress! The only downside to the perfection of your workmanship is that the interesting bodice seaming just disappears. Though perhaps unusual for you, the print and the colors are perfection. Fantastic.

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  2. Beautiful dress, the fabric is fabulous.

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  3. I normally lurk, not post, but just had to say your dress looks absolutely gorgeous. Fabulous fabric, fit and the style suits your figure perfectly. I think it would also look great in a plain print too.

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  4. I a, a lurker too, but I've popped up to say that this dress looks fabulous.

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  5. The print is fantastic in this dress. And the shape of dress and colours are sooo good on you. Great combination!

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  6. So beautiful. Lowering the neckline was a good idea. It looks stunning on you. The fabric is wonderful.

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  7. Oh I love this. This is one of my favourites on you. I love mustard colour but I can't wear it with my yellow skin tones. This is really smashing! I love that jacket too. What a winning combo... and new shoes..bonus!

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  8. Wow, that looks awesome! Good match of pattern and fabric too.

    I have to ask--what are the patterns that look the same, but are easier to sew? I would love to give a dress in this style a shot.

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  9. What a great dress! I want it! The pattern matching is perfect and I love how you made the black line of fabric line up with your waistline. Love the fabric, too!

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  10. Excellent!! Great fit and use of the border type print. Well done. Colours suit you as well.

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  11. Darling dress! Isn't it amazing the fabric you can find at op shops? I have no fear with that fabric!

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  12. Nice job! You did an excellent job on this dress. I like the way you changed the zipper to the back instead of the side too.

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  13. omg, wonderful:)) ı sew the same pattern, please look at my blog ...

    www.modavesaire.net

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  14. I haven't commented before but definitely had to today! That is such an awesome dress and fabric choice! It looks fantastic on you and I'm sure you'll get a ton of wear out of it this summer.

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  15. Love the fabric, this dress came out splendidly!

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  16. Looks wonderful! The colors look so good on you, and the fabric print looks absolutely perfect with this pattern. I also try to avoid unnecessary side seams on skirts whenever possible. Great job!

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  17. Looks fabulous, especially with that jacket!

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  18. Love the dress, it looks wonderful on you!

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  19. Looks great. How often does Burda Style come out? Does it have ALL of those patterns in it? Why have I not known this before? How much is it in Australia? Sorry for 20 questions. PS. Haven't been here for a while, love the new look? How is that gorgeous little man going?

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  20. I love the dress you made, Kristy! It feels totally different with that beautiful fabric you chose! Great pattern matching!
    I should review good pattern construction methods...Your way is much better than the fiddly Burda method! Do you have any tips on where to look?

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  21. Nice work! The pattern matching on the bodice with that insert is invisible. I like the style and the pattern on you. Very nice!

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  22. You have achieved a perfect marriage with your fabric and pattern -you look fantastic . What a lucky find at the op shop - I love my op shop fabric even more than the stuff I buy at full price.


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  23. Abosolutley adorable dress. Well done! I love the fabric too. The dress has an expensive designer look.

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  24. I. Love. This.

    Fabric is excellent and I Think the mustard really sets off your hair.

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  25. Love love LOVE that fabric, very snazzy indeed & great print placement. It is super flattering on you so twirl away! :)

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  26. Cute and gorgeous. I love it and the colours are great on you.

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  27. This is gorgeous! What a perfect combination of fabric and silhouette - I love it.

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  28. Your dress is beautiful. Lovely fabric and a great job matching the print. Gorgeous.

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  29. You really have nailed this dress.

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  30. I think I will definitely make this dress after seeing your version. Beautiful job!

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  31. Absolutely beautiful!

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  33. What a beautiful dress. I'm quite taken with the pleats in the back view.

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  34. Beautiful summer dress and perfect for layering, enjoy.

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  35. Gorgeous! I especially love it with the blazer :) I've been waiting patiently for anyone in my sewing blogsphere to make this dress, wondering how it would look in real life - I definitely like it :)

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  36. I always feel like the waist sits too high, too! But I have learnt to (mostly) ignore the impulse to lower it - I do a bit because I'm long waisted, but not as much as I think I should. Otherwise I end up looking elongated and lumpy, unless I stand exactly upright and still.

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  37. Wow, it looks great on you. I love how you used pleats instead of gathers in the skirt.

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  38. So fantastic! The mustard just lights up your face--you look beautiful. I love this type of neckline but it doesn't work so well on my narrow shoulders, so I'm always happy to see others who can pull it off so well.

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  39. Beautiful! This looks great on you!

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  40. Fiddly pattern or not, you've got an awesome new dress. Love how you styled it and loved how you matched that print!

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  41. Great dress for a great fabric! Just perfect for your figure!

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  42. Looks great with the jacket and shoes. How brave to make a non-nursing dress!

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  43. I love the entire ensemble. Very nice! Not a trace of frumpiness.

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  44. This looks so cool!! Great textile and good pattern - perfect dress!

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