Last week I told you all about this dress – the pattern details, how I traced all fourteen of those curved, monster front darts, the things I omitted, the things I changed, and the things I’d want to know if I were you, sewing this for the first time.
So if you want to know all the geeky details (including the UK shop where I bought this lovely sage green marl ponti roma jersey!), then you best read that post, because this one’s going to be light on words and heavy on photos!
What I will say again is that this is a reprint of an original pattern Burda printed in 1956, but graded up to the normal Burda size range and included in the the November Burda magazine (or you can purchase it as a pdf here if you missed the magazine).
I’m stupidly happy with this dress – it’s the exact right snug, clingy, long sleeved knit sheath dress that I love to wear in winter. For the past two winters, my favourite dress has been the purple September 2010 Burda cover dress and this dress reminds me a lot of it, with a similar fit and feel.
I have sewn so many Drapey Dresses that I could pretty much make them with my eyes closed. I made the first prototype version for the Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion in Fabric book last summer, and I even got to cheekily wear it out for a weekend before returning it for pattern development purposes. Then I sewed something like 6 more over the next year, including both the blue and stripey versions seen in the book, and the lovely pink one CL wore to promote the book during her February “Bee Mine” challenge.
But I still didn’t have one in my wardrobe to call my own! It’s definitely saying something about the greatness of this pattern and design that I still even wanted one – I mean, I’m usually sick of a pattern after making it 2 or 3 times!
Having seen this dress in all colours and prints imaginable, it made it all the harder to pin myself down to this “duck egg blue” ponte from Truro Fabrics. Theirs isn’t the cheapest ponte out there, but it’s really nice quality and doesn’t tend to bobble as quickly as others I’ve bought elsewhere. I made this Burda vintage wiggle dress using a Truro ponte three years ago and the dress still looks great, despite constant winter wear.
My latest project is this vintage sheath dress from the November Burda magazine (which you can purchase as a pdf here if you missed the magazine)!
It’s a reprint of an original pattern Burda printed in 1956, and one of my favourite running features that Burda magazine have been doing this year. Since the company’s had a very long history, it makes sense that they should look into their archives, dust off a few gems, grade up the sizing to their usual modern range, and translate the instructions!
Contrary to popular belief, this particular one is not a maternity dress, despite the fact that the model clearly looks like she’s “showing”. I can assure you that I do not look pregnant in it one bit, so let’s move on with the catty remarks…
In any case, I finished this one on Sunday night, but considering that it gets dark at 4pm here now, I won’t be able to do a photoshoot until this weekend, meaning you won’t see it on me until next week. By which time I’ll have probably forgotten all the construction details, boo!
So by way of a reminder, I thought I’d type up my thoughts now, then you’ll see the finished design next week. So the “Tell”, then the “Show”!
1. The bodice has seven monster, curved darts, all of which needed to be accurately marked onto the fabric. If you have carbon paper, I suggest you make good use of it, but for me, I remove the inside of the darts with scissors, then thread trace each dart with silk basting thread so I can see it on both sides. Then repeat for the other bodice piece. This took a few evenings, but it was important to get them right, as it’s the focus of the entire dress!
I’ve been away the past two weekends (in Iceland and at the Sewing Weekender, respectively) so I’ve not had much of a chance before now to sit down and really sink my teeth into the latest Burda edition. I know much of the USA is in a heat wave at the moment but in England it’s cooled off considerably so an issue full of Fall fashions is very welcome!
I’m not going to lie to you – there’s a whole lot of ugly again in this issue! After last month’s disappointing collection, I was very hopeful that the first of the Fall fashions would herald a return to some great Burda patterns, but alas!
I’ve tried to shield your poor eyes from the worst abuses and find some nuggets in the poo, but I just couldn’t help it. Happily, though, if you’re Plus-sized, you get the best patterns of the whole issue!
The entire Downton Abbey-inspired feature was just fugly so I’m going to pretend that just doesn’t exist. Moving swiftly on…
When the photos for this issue were first previewed, I would’ve never guessed that the tech drawing would look like this! This seems like it could either be a fantastic take on a basic long sleeved tee, or a really annoying noose that gets in your way and drags in your tea…
What an awful 1980s double sweatshirt abomination, paired with an even uglier leather skirt just to make the sweatshirt look not quite so bad in juxtaposition. Even the model looks sad that she was forced to wear this.
The 1970s Marianne Faithfull feature wasn’t much better (because there’s nothing I hate more than hippie style, or the 1970s!), but it did contain these slim leather trousers. I’m not as keen on the long-line blazer, which, for Tall women, is just going to further elongate them, right?
This red suit is absolutely the best of the regular-sized patterns in this issue! I’m not even usually a fan of blazers but the cut is really great here – classic yet interesting, and it comes paired with a really well-proportioned pair of trousers, too. Even better that for some reason Burda chose to have the coloured illustrated instructions for the blazer, even though they’re usually reserved for the most remedial patterns in the issue (you can see Burda forgot to remove “Easy Sewing” from the top there, which clashes with “Advanced” and “Masterpiece” just beneath it!)
I (silently) set myself the challenge to sew one garment from each issue of Burda magazine (aka BurdaStyle) in 2012, and I’m proud to say I completed it! I’m not the sort of person to make New Year’s resolutions, or proclaim lofty goals to everyone who’ll listen – I’m more the sort to quietly commit myself to something, and see if anyone notices what I’m up to before the completion… I do know that Kristy has also been keeping up with the Burda challenge this year, and it’s been fun to see which patterns she’s chosen from the same issues (and on occasion we selected the same pattern!).
There were some roaring successes, a few fails (both my fault and not), and some that I changed my mind on only after months of wear. So I thought it was worthwhile to have a look through all the projects from this year, and my thoughts on each looking back from now…
Link to original post: Great Basic – Grey Flannel Trousers
At the time I said: There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this design, but I just thought it looked nicely versatile, and something I could wear to business meetings as well as just team with a teeshirt if I fancied it.
My thoughts now: I don’t think these look as nice in the photoshoot as they do in real life. I genuinely love and adore these, and have worn them pretty much nonstop, at least once a week to work, since I made them a year ago. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this pattern, and the silk pocket linings fill me with glee everything I slip my hands inside. I really do need to make some more of these!
First of all, thank you all so so much for all your lovely comments on the vintage wiggle dress! Due to another crazy week at work plus coming down with a rotten cold, I’ve been even less equipped than usual to reply to as many as I like, but rest assured I do see every one of them (they’re emailed to me, so no matter how old the post is, I see what you wrote!), and I’ll try to work through the backlog of replies soon.
But rather than waiting on little ol’ me, have a look inside the latest issue of Burda magazine, because they’ve gone and ended this year with a bang, my oh my…
How much do I love this dress?!? It’s so good they’ve put it on the cover, and then again inside, with long or short sleeves, and floor-length, or knee-length hems. When I was shopping in the West End with my mom a few weeks ago, I swear I saw this exact dress across a crowded department store, so I’m pretty sure it’s a designer knockoff – maybe Christian Dior? Does anyone know? In any case, it’s a Tall dress (boo! so most of us have to remove some vertical length in a few spots), but there are illustrated instructions for this one (which you can view in the pdf here since the long version is up for purchase on the English BurdaStyle.com already).
I know the tech drawing for this sequin tank is pretty plain and boring, but it’s all about optimising a very special (or expensive) short piece of fabric, and this sequin version reminds me of a RTW Express navy blue tank seen here. I also quite like the stretch leather trousers, but the likelihood of finding stretch leather outside the NYC garment district is quite slim…
I like the pairing of this peplum jacket and jodhpurs but those trousers mysteriously look like the exact same trousers from the recent Burda Easy magazine but with an extra inner leg seam cutout… Sneaky Burda, sneaky.
I wasn’t overly impressed with last month’s issue of this Brazilian pattern magazine (Remember there are other Brazilian pattern magazines too!), but this one’s got enough fancy party dresses in it to keep me happy, even if it’s overly summery for my personal use right now!
Now here’s some pattern versatility we can all use: a detachable peplum to wear with any skirt, trousers, or dress. This lets you be totally on-trend without any commitment, because when peplums go out of fashion again, your skirt/trousers/dress can still be worn without it!
Manequim are so good at the short cocktail dresses, and this little sheath dress has a really intersting crossover neckline and some cool pleats at the hips to add interest.
The designer inspiration feature revolves around Kate Spade this month, and I really like this dress in particular, because it doesn’t have a waist seam, which seems to be fairly unusual for this silhouette. The jacket is covering the neckline in this particular shot, but the square neckline is really flattering, too.