I feel like this post should have a warning, like those awful, dated jokes – Dangerous curves ahead! But to be honest, I’ve been running like a mad woman for the past few months, finally running much faster and further than I ever did before I got ill, so I’m relishing the chance to show off my running body right now*.
This dress was in the Sept 2011 Burda magazine, but it’s also available to buy as a download pattern on Burdastyle.com if you missed that issue (or believed the blog hype that it was a bad issue, gasp!). I really loved this pattern from the second I saw it, and all I really needed was a little nudge from BurdaStyle and I was totally sold on making this as my double-duty James’s birthday dinner and Christmas party dress.
Though on reflection, it might be a bit too sexy for my office party.
As this was a close fitting sheath with a non-stretch fabric, I opted to go right ahead and make the only fitting alteration I ever make with Burda patterns, and even then it’s only occasionally – I removed 2cm above the waist line across all the vertical panels so the waist of the dress is more in line with my own.
First of all, thank you all so much for all your comments and praise on my Charcoal pinup dress! I knew I really liked it, but it’s nice when so many others agree.
One thing that I hadn’t realised in the magazine discussion, nor sewing, nor wearing it out, however, is that this dress pattern is a very close knockoff of the Roland Mouret Macha dress, which was shown in his Spring 11 RTW show!
(Photo from Style.com)
Really, the bodice seaming is all identical, but there are a few differences:
- Burda’s pattern is for wovens, RM’s dress is a stretch woven
- Burda’s has long sleeves, RM’s is sleeveless
- Burda’s has a back V neckline, RM’s has a square back neckline
- Burda’s is princess-seamed in the skirt, RM’s appears to be one panel in the skirt
- Burda’s has a centre back invisible zipper, RM’s has a centre back exposed zipper
I’ve been doing quite a lot of sewing recently (less so on the blogging!). Most of it is for an upcoming pattern, so I’m not able to really share details yet, but I’ve also been trying to take time out to fill a few holes in my own wardrobe. Specifically, I realised I was in desperate need of trousers – I pretty much only had jeans or leggings that still fit me, apart from the Navy twill trousers I made this summer of course. I have quite a few skirts and dresses that still fit, but I tend to only wear those once or twice a week to work and I definitely favour trousers in cooler, wet weather.
So taking inspiration from what I’d had that I wore the most, looked at the grey flannel trousers I made in 2012, which I absolutely wore to death over the past three years. They’re a bit too big now, aside from being bobbled, so I thought I’d look for a similar pattern and attempt to recreate them. I found this pattern from the October 2013 issue, though when I looked through my Burda archives there were a ton of slight variations on this general shape. Hooray for sewing from the archives!
(The top on this page was Tall sizes, but the trousers were the regular size range)
The fabric was from equally deep in my stash – I’d been given this soft, grey flannel by Neighbour Helen just before they moved off the moorings (4-5 years ago), and at the time I already had a similar grey flannel in my stash (which became the aforementioned trousers, a midi skirt, and a sheath dress amoungst other things) so I didn’t cut into this one until that had gone. For some reason I had noted in my records that it was a polyester, but when I did a burn test it turns out it was wool! I found hidden treasure in my deep stash, and there’s a good 2m of it left, too.
Seen here with my favourite green Kimono Sweat top, made with green fleck sweatshirting from Guthrie Ghani.
Are you bored with lycra yet?
If you recall, I’m sewing three different pieces of running gear – leggings, a vest top, and a long sleeved top. The vest top has stalled while I wait for my new coverstitch binder to arrive, but I was able to finish my leggings this weekend and cut out all the pieces for the long sleeved top.
When I went to look through my stash for fabrics, though, I realised that the long sleeved top needs three different fabrics in order to get a contrast on the upper body, and again at the hip pockets. So I’m using the black supplex for the top and sleeves, leftover turquoise for the lower back and front hips, and the same turquoise but overlaid with olive green stretch lace for the front body. I’m thinking a bit of lace in the running community won’t go amiss.
But now this top is stalled while I await more short, black invisible zips (which should arrive with my binder!) for the pockets and the upper front!
It’s realistically looking like I’ll only have my leggings ready for the Paris half marathon on Sunday, so I needed to take them out for a test run last night prior to the big event.
Be prepared for a totally unflattering, post-hour-long RDC session photo…
(I’m wearing the blue Nike pinny over my jacket ‘cos I’m a group leader!) Overall, I’m really happy with the fit. The ankles are still a bit baggy (even after I took them in a bunch!), but the fit everywhere else was perfect. I was a bit concerned about chafing since I don’t have a flatlock machine so my overlocked seams make small ridges inside, but they were absolutely fine, and the waistband was very comfortable and sat exactly where I wanted it to be with no shifting or tugging. Result! I’ll totally be making more of these from my customised base pattern…
Remember my my pinup sheath dress? Well, I made good use of the remaining 2 meters of so of the ex-designer charcoal grey flannel and made a midi skirt with it!
I used this vintage New Look/Maudella midi skirt pattern I bought in Sheffield not long ago:
I made View 2 (seen in my attempted tech drawing above), and the pattern pieces for it and View 1 were already cut to size 18 (my size, judging by the pattern, eep!), which made it easy to just lay on the fabric and cut. There are only three pattern pieces (skirt panel, yoke, and waistband), so it was a really quick skirt to construct, though the hem sat ready to be handsewn for a week or two before I had time to do it!
At first I was concerned that the front and back pieces were exactly the same, but I haven’t noticed any problems in the fit while wearing it. I think this might be down to my pancake butt, but someone with a more pronounced derriere might have issues.