Thursday, 21 July 2011

Work In Progress

Dear sewers, bloggers and assorted visitors,
Yesterday I had a half day at work and came home and Got Stuck Into Business. While two loads of washing were spinning away I tweaked the Burda Shirtdress 117/5/2011 pattern I've talked about  previously to fit my short rectangular body.

This alone took an hour. They say to measure nine times and cut once, well I really did. I was doing my altering and modifying as I went along. I wanted to take out the foofiness and gathering of the back bodice piece.
I figured if it made the model look swaybacked then it would be rather unflattering on my swayback. I put darts in the back bodice at the waist to match the darts in the back skirt. I scooped out the back neck and I made a square shoulder adjustment. I straightened out the pegged skirt, for walking and buttoning ease. Comparison shots of the original back bodice and my alterations are at the end f this post.
Then, dear reader, I ironed up my rather crushed and laundered liberty, figured out the placement of the roaring twenties ladies and then took a deep breath and cut. I don't have the time, material or luggage space to make a muslin so I want to get this right. Liberty is so lovely, so precious, that cutting into it is hard even under ideal conditions. It's enough to make one turn to a spoon or two of sugary sustenance.

A girl has to keep up her concentration

Cutting into Liberty.

I'd cut out the fabric, but not the cotton voile lining or any interfacing. I wanted to get the main pieces sewn up to trying on stage to see if everything was all right. I'm glad to report that so far, everything is just fine!

Please forgive the rather unsophisticated backdrop of my bed linen. The original back bodice piece is on the left. It gets gathered along the waist to puff up out the back. My altered back bodice is on the right.
The following photo is of another dress, no 128 from the same issue which has the same 'foof' treatment. I can see what they were aiming for but it doesn't work on this girl and I know it wouldn't work on me This dress is cute though. I may make a modified version of it.

Lastly, this is what the back bodice pieces look like in comparison. You can see where I scooped out the back of the neck. The collar pieces and facing have been extended at the fold line by 1 cm to match up. The angle of the shoulder has been straightened a bit (sorry this doesn't show). The width at the bottom point of the arm scye is my back width from armpit to armpit plus 2 cm ease (I'm talking one half as shown here, 4 cm in total)
The mid back length is my measurement from my back neck bone (C6 for anyone medical out there) to my true waist, plus 2 cm ease. Added to this are seam allowances of course. The side bodice matches the length of the front side bodice. I compared my new back bodice piece to another standard back bodice piece in the issue and knew I was on the right track. Nevertheless I was relieved when everything sat well.
I have one rather intriguing collar to go..
Happy sewing


  1. Sounds like your dress is coming along nicely and thank you for your thoughts on how to reduce the "foof" as that doesn't work for me either.

  2. I'll be interested to see the dress. The pattern interested me.

  3. I was very curious about the back on that dress. Thanks for showing your modified back bodice piece. Very helpful. And I'm in love with your fabric. I believe I'd need ice cream to cut it as well.

  4. You certainly used something nice to keep your attention. Grat fabric, lokimng forwars to the dress.

  5. Thank you my sewing friends. Sigrid I hope you are enjoying your break.

  6. Thank you sooo much for this, Valérie! I want to make the Petite dress (2nd photo) and that back foof is just not appealing.

    I'm bookmarking this for reference.