Monday, February 7, 2011

Burda maxi dress 6-2010 Model 101

And the winner of the Vogue skirt pattern is..... drum roll.... Gail! 
Thanks to everyone who entered.  Your emails were so nice I feel rather bad that I don't have 6 to give away. 

Now on to a review of the Burda maxi-dress, which I've finished and delivered to its new owner.
Does anyone have any tips for matching patterns on things like this, where there are quite a few non-straight seams? I've never worked much with patterned fabrics before but I'm really liking some of the fabrics around at the moment.  I agonised about pattern matching on this dress with mixed success.  I'm guessing that the following rules apply:
  • make full pattern pieces to layout rather than cutting on the fold.
  • match the pattern at the focal points - which I assume would be top centre back / centre front.
Any others you can think of?
Pattern Description: "Long chiffon dress with wide yoke, witty trim along the scooped neckline and narrow tucks in front".   It also has an invisible zip under one arm.  This version doesn't have the 'witty trim' a la Burda and I've added a lining.
Fabric Used: Cotton/silk voile, and lined with a light silk.

Pattern Sizing: 17-21. This a petite/half size pattern, although given the style, it looks like it would be fine for non petites. 9cm was taken off the length for my 5ft 2ish sister.

Pattern alterations:
I must remember not to make pronouncements like 'it is dead easy to make' on the basis of the muslin. It always comes back to haunt me.  It wasn't half so easy when filmy patterned fabric, invisible zip and lining were added into the mix!
A lining was added which is exactly the same as the outer dress and sewn to the yoke.  The yoke has 3 layers - fashion fabric, lining in lieu of interfacing, and fashion fabric. 

The final yoke piece was then sewn to the shoulders and handstitched to the seam above.   In retrospect it would be easier to make the lining all in one and just sew around the neck and turn right side out. 
I deviated from the Burda method for the neckline.  The neckline was gaping a little so on my version it is entirely finished with self bias binding.  It looked ok on the dressform but I noticed it pouches out a little in one place on my sister so I've told her that if it doesn't sit properly after washing, I'll redo the binding.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Quite good for Burda. I like the fact that it gives you a template to show how big the pleated area needs to be.

Oh, those pleats - what a pain! They just refused to fit.   The seam unpicker got a thorough work-out.

I figured out what the problem with the number of front pleats was - Me!  The pleats are like pintucks so the line on the pattern is actually the foldline for each pleat.  I had erroneously assumed the lines were sewing lines not the fold lines. 
My sister seems to really like the dress - so keeping to the recent trend of making 2 of everything I'm making another one for her - this time in a very pretty silk charmeuse from Textile Traders.   Much easier this time - no lining required - yeah!  I'm going to try tweaking the fit of the yoke a little this time too.


  1. Beautiful job, it looks lovely! That silk charmeuse looks gorgeous, lucky sister! Congrats to Gail on her win.

  2. Yeh. Thanks so much. I have never won anything before. I'll contact you on-line.

  3. The dress looks gorgeous, and if that's your sister wearing it, it's fabulous on her! It's going to be very special looking in that silk charmeuse too ...