Saturday, 18 September 2010

A Quick Burdastyle Dress


Dear Reader I have my red velour muslin for my McCalls jacket cut out! Finally! but I must confess I got sidetracked again. I saw an intriguing little pattern in Burdastyle 6/2010

The 109 dress with under bust gathers that curve around the waist.

The Original Pieces

I had some bargain-table retro looking knit in my stash from last summer. Upon consideration of my body and a few PR reviews I decided that gathers along my waist would not work  and that I would move the horizontal seam up to just under my ribcage. The picture below is my first 'move the seam up' draft. You may also notice in the photo that I hadn't cut along the back seam yet. Even though I could have put the piece on the fold I deliberately put a seam along the foldline to break up the large print and to bring the back neck in a bit.

  When  made up the front was rather amusing.

I liked where the side seams sat so I proceeded to unpick the rest of the seam and take out fullness all along the gathering line.

It still looked saggy so I took more out and tightened the left neckline a fraction.

Almost there. This is what you get when you start experimenting. Pretty soon I was left with no gathers at all.

But I did get a dress I could wear and be happy with. In fact, I like it a lot!

On the technical side:  here is what my revised pattern pieces look like.

The sleeve is lovely, close fitting but comfortable. I am forever taking the too high sleeve ease out of sleeve caps. In fact I tend to judge patterns by the care and expertise given to the sleeve draft. This one reminded me of something I'd read on Kathleen Fasanella's website:

Happy Sewing!


  1. Great job on altering that pattern to get it exactly how you want it. Your dress looks fabulous and I love that Pucci style print, the colours are beautiful.

  2. I also get very distracted by Burda patterns, usually the crazy looking ones! Your dress looks great and so do you. Great alterations.

    ( I think this dress has been nicknamed "the saggy boob" dress - needless to say I won't be going near it! )

  3. What a great thing to be distracted by! Your dress looks great on you. Thanks for the link about the anatomically correct sleeve. I've always struggled to set in sleeves because of the ease (you'd laugh if you saw how many pins I use). It seems that if the sleeve cap was the same length as the armhole, it would be much easier to set in.