Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Flared Dress BurdaStyle #117 April 2019

As soon as I saw the preview of the April issue of the BurdaStyle magazine I knew I wanted to make this dress. The version shown in the magazine is a nice polka dot and I looked around for some fabric like that. As it happened I received a big bag of free fabric that yielded just the right one. Hello Stitch had a fabric swap day a while back and after it was over they gave me what remained to use for making samples for classes. So far it has supplied the fabric for my sample Myosotis dress and my first Zadie jumpsuit - so not a bad haul.

But the one that catches my eye will always be the jewel tone, in this case a purple mystery fabric, probably a poly crepe. I am really happy with the result, although there are a few small things I can gripe about. But on the whole I like it - and have worn it already.

purple dress10

Mostly it's the length!  I am on the smaller side, 5'3" maybe a half inch more if I stand up straight :) and I think the skirt length looks better on me if it's just at mid-knee. So about 2 inches shorter on this one would have been nice. Although I realize it's supposed to be this length and I decided to just go with it instead of fiddling with shortening which would have been a pain with the asymmetrical skirt pieces.
And dress lengths seem to be getting longer again. Fashion - always doing this to us, right?

A change I did make is to lower the neckline a bit in the center front, it was a higher cut, more of a boat neck (where did that name come from?). Anyway - those necklines always feel a bit uncomfortable on me so I rounded it a bit at the center from lowering about 1/2".

purple dress bodice view sq

That twisty waist sash was a total puzzler and thank goodness for this very thin fabric. It is probably impossible to see but the larger side twists and is caught in the skirt under where the ruffle starts, and then the smaller side loops around that and is caught in the seam between bodice and skirt. At least that is what I gleaned from the Burda instructions and looking closely at the example for many minutes.

Purple dress sq4

I think the best thing about this pattern is the skirt and it would be easy to use the skirt portion with a different Burda dress bodice, or just as a skirt alone.

purple dress hem ruffle

I treated this dress as a combo of fancy sewing and speed sewing. In that I took my time with the fit and yet I used some super quick sewing techniques in certain areas. Like the hem for the ruffle. This fabric was super unravel-ly which is not fun, so I just serged the edge of all the ruffle and turned, pressed and machine stitched for the hem. Which is pretty much what the instructions said. But for the neckline and armholes it said to finish with bias tape. Nope - I have an aversion to bias tape. At least the packaged stuff. Far too stiff for most garment sewing.
I could have made a facing for the neck and armhole and almost did that when I was thinking of lining the whole dress, but then I decided to go speed sewing on that and skipped the lining. Although I'm wearing a knit slip I sewed a while ago (for wearing under knit dresses) - which is the perfect layer for this one as well.

purple dress 11

Actually I'm really liking the fit in the back. Maybe I should make this one again? I cut out a size 38 at the neck and shoulders, and then graded out about 1-2 inches larger at waist and hip. The waist twisty sash thing is cut on the bias, and I cut it the same as the pattern and based it on, then later I had to open up parts of the side seam at the top and bottom of the sash as it was too loose there. So basically tightening up the sash so that it would lay flat against the body.

purple dress side view on form

Burda 117 April 2019 tech drawing

Burda 117 april19 image

There's the tech drawing and the magazine photo. I really like the proportions of the ruffle. The skirt is not an overlap but is two pieces with a curved seam joining them and the ruffle sandwiched in between. Also maybe  I need a hat???  (nope)

Purple dress 16 sq

Attempting a better pose for photos here - trying to emulate my friend Laura Mae who I think has master the art of blog photo poses (which I have not :)

What about the inside? Well since I decided not to line it then the neck and armholes needed finishing. I cut bias strips from a scrap of bemberg rayon lining, about 1.24 inches wide, and pressed one edge under by 1/4". Then I stitched it on at the 5/8" seam line, trimmed and clipped that, pressed inside and then hand stitched the bias to enclose the edges. I'm a pretty quick hand sewer so it was probably faster than making a facing pattern piece and dealing with that. You can see the grey basting thread on my zipper - I machine baste invisible zippers in, and typically use a contrast thread color so I can see the basting. And no need to take it out - it's on the inside of the garment so I don't care.

Purple dress bias binding

The one drawback to the combo of this lightweight fabric and no interfacing around the neckline is that it is a bit limp and you can see some ripples when I wear it, but I can live with that.

Purple dress on form ruffle

So that's my latest Burda magazine sewing, with a few new things traced out and ready to go when I find a minute.
But this is not the last of a skirt flounce this summer - my other finished project also has this feature. It's the summer of ruffles  - they are everywhere.

purple dress 17 sq

Happy Summer Sewing,

and today's garden photos, it has to be these purple beauties. Right now I have a wall of hydrangeas across the back of the yard and I couldn't be happier every time I look out.

Blue green hydrangea

wall of hydrangea


  1. That's such a stunning dress Beth - perfect colour and style for you, and as always it's beautifully fitted. Love those hydrangeas too (one of my favourite flowers).

  2. If you can puzzle out the instructions for twist dresses and tops they are quite nicely drafted. This is lovely on you. If you make it again will you shorten it?

  3. Beautiful dress! I wasn’t too much into the line drawing but I love the result. Your dress looks very high-end and not “speed-sewn” at all!!
    I find sewing preferences so interesting, I avoid facings like the plague and I also cannot deal with packaged bias. So I would have end up with the same approach as yours, but for different reasons!

  4. This is a really great elegant dress. I always wonder whether the photography angles have something to do with it, but I do have to say that this skirt length seems to look really good on you - even better, as far as I can tell, perhaps because of the balanced proportions, than the rather shorter lengths you often go for. So this is very impressive. I'm guessing it needs a pretty drapey fabric, but your choice seems just right.

  5. Love the dress on you! and your hydrangeas make me happy as well...

  6. Love this dress! Great fit too (not surprising ... haha!). I like the length of this one on you; I think a shorter length would be good too - would it be easier to shorten it from the waist seam?

  7. Such a lovely dress Beth! It works well in the crepe.

  8. Great dress! Really cute style on you. I am definitely adding this one to my list.

  9. Beautiful dress on you and the perfect color as well!

  10. What beautiful dress! The color is so lovely. I will sew this pattern and I hope the fit will be like yours.

  11. What a gorgeous color. It looks so good on you; flounces are not usually my thing, but I am digging this one.

  12. I love this dress. I have just received this issue of Burdastyle and this dress is on my to make list for summer.

  13. What a lovely dress!

    Studying the sash, didn't you mix up the wider and the smaller part?

    It seems the left side (in the picture, I guess it's the wider part?) turns upwards, and the smaller right side turns downwards.

    What am I missing?

  14. Really pretty! And I totally agree with the bias tape. I'm trying to make this, and I'm using a Burda I got in the Netherlands, and I thought I was having trifle with the waistline bc of translation. Any hints?? Thank you!