Saturday, December 21, 2019

A festive new dress πŸŽ„ Burda 09-2019-104

Happy Holidays! It's that time of year when I'm filled with gratitude and love for the sewing community. Thank you all for sharing your creations, providing inspiration, ideas, advice, humor, personal stories and friendship. The sewing internet is vast and I will never catch up with everything yet every day I discover someone new to me who is doing beautiful and interesting things.

This year has been so great, I've had the opportunity to meet some of my far away sewing friends in person and to meet many new stitchers in my classes. Next year will likely have some new adventures that I can't even imagine right now.

And so as usual I've made a new dress in a festive color. Plus gone a bit silly with adding the holiday border and turned it into my Christmas greeting to you. Keep reading for all the sewing and pattern details.

Holiday red dress with garland

The pattern is Burda Magazine 104-September-2019. This dress is a ponte knit with a subtle print - probably not visible in the photo above but it shows more in the following images. I'm not a fan of ponte - they sometimes seem a bit clammy so as I was sewing this I thought "well I will finish it as I like the color but I'm probably not going to wear it". Famous last words, right? As I can get over the slight poly feel since the color is so nice and it holds it's shape with not a wrinkle in sight.

red ponte dress front close up on form

A closer look so you can see the print and also the seam plus dart details. This dress is quite simple to make, it went together very well once I figured out how to sew that darts/seam situation. Here's a look at that section of the front pattern piece plus the side inset.

Red dress dart detail

I couldn't figure out how the dart plus waist seam worked, and since I never look at the instructions I tried to puzzle through. However I thought perhaps they had some of their usual jumble of words describing how to sew - but no! a holiday miracle - there was a little diagram complete with scissors showing where to cut (on that dotted line) and then it worked perfectly. I guess I should follow my own advice sometimes and just read through in case :)

Red ponte dress 2

Here's something new to me - this dress was in Burda Petite sizes 17-21 which according to the measurement page in the magazine are the same as sizes 34-42 other than the height difference. (5'3" for petite and 5'6" for regular)  So not really any difference other than I didn't have to remove an extra  6 inches at the hem. Actually that was nice! I also have short arms so the sleeve was full length on me and as you can see in the magazine photo it is more a wrist length sleeve.

Sept 19 mod dress burda mag

This type of fabric makes it super quick to sew, no seam finishes needed as it is a stable knit. I also decided that a zipper was not needed so I changed the back to a short opening with a snap.

red ponte dress back closure

I made a facing for the neckline and had it continue down about 5 inches so I could make the back neck opening.

red ponte dress side and back

red ponte dress back view

red ponte back view1

This dress also has darts at the elbow which is nice feature I guess - it does make the sleeve conform more to the arm and the sleeves are nice and narrow. So often I make jackets or dresses and the sleeves are way too wide for me all over the arm.  What do you think of my sneaky back neck closure? I don't like a button with loop, it's too fussy to make and to fasten. Or I'm just lazy :)

red ponte dress front on form

This dress would be fantastic in wool crepe or even a sweater knit. I think I might keep this in the active file - I can see making it sleeveless in a cotton sateen as a summer dress. Here I am contemplating summer sewing on the shortest day of the year. My words to live by - when winter is here then spring is on its way 🌞.

So that's the seasonal sewing accomplished. Up next I just cut out some pants in a wool, as I had fabric leftover when I made this jacket. No I don't really need a business-y suit like that but it seemed like a fun way to use the rest of that fabric and work on my pants fit. And warm pants are always nice to have in the wardrobe.

This won't be the last post of 2019, after finishing my shopping/wrapping/baking and the actual Christmas celebrating, I plan to do a big clean up of my sewing space (resolutions, right?) and get ready for a few sewing challenges in the new year.

Plus a look back at my sewing for 2019 with a bit of analysis plus some ideas for 2020.

red ponte dress 1

Time to run - those presents won't wrap themselves!

Merry Christmas to everyone πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„


Today's garden photo, taken back in July and I wish I had some of these roses right now, I could make a perfect holiday table arrangement. But they are all gone and with just the rose hips left on the bush. This is a climbing rose that I put in to fill in the space after getting the fence replaced where the pink jasmine was looking a bit sparse. It has exceeded my expectations with masses of flowers all summer and I will be on the lookout for another one in January. 

red climbing rose


  1. What a lovely dress and gorgeous color. I love the back opening, I will keep that in mind for my projects, thank you :) Did you lined the dress? Can you please share with what kind of fabric ? Thank you.
    Happy Holidays ! Warm regards, Camelia

    1. Hi Camelia, no I didn't line it as the fabric is quite slippery, a bit unusual for a ponte knit.

  2. beautiful dress - the fit is perfect as is the colour. the dart details really add to it. I prefer elbow darts in a sleeve myself too

  3. As usual, you hit it out of the park. I love the simplicity of this dress. And it looks fabulous on you!

  4. Beautiful holiday dress, Beth! I'm so glad to know about this pattern, and appreciate your tip on adding the facing. Merry Christmas!

  5. Nice pattern, and it looks lovely on you. It seems very adaptable too, it could be made in quite a few different fabrics - with a zipper if necessary or the clever adaptation you made for knits. I can see it with no sleeves, petal sleeves, short sleeves and even flutter sleeves. Just as you suggested, I'd make it in a lightweight knit, a pretty cotton and MAYBE, if I knew how, I'd alter the skirt slightly to give it a bit of flare so it would "float" in a pretty georgette.
    Just my "2-cents".

  6. Your dress is very pretty. I love the interesting darts. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Beth!

  7. So reminiscent of the 60's and Jackie O when ladies wore dresses and added neck scarves and brooches. The fit is so flattering and the fabric shows off the seaming beautifully. Dreaming of summer dresses and red roses...a good thing to keep our spirits up as the darkness of Winter is upon us. I use that same back closure but normally one side has a "dangling" snap but you little tab looks more stable. Great job, Beth! You are all set to celebrate the holidays!

  8. This dress fits you like a dream, and is SO flattering. (Having a body type much like Heather's, I'd love to see what this pattern looks like on her.)

    Is your ponte a rayon/poly/lycra blend, or rayon/nylon/lycra? I find the latter to have a nicer hand ((not "clammy" AND non-pilling).

    And, this is the season that I am thankful, so thankful for sewing bloggers. So many of my favorites have migrated to other platforms, and I miss them. Appreciate that you are still blogging!

  9. Your dress is beautiful. Like SilverMom above, I wonder if you have a ponte with poly in it. Ponte is one of my favorite fabrications (not scuba) but only with Rayon. I don't do polyester as it always makes me clammy. And now there are the environmental concerns. Jean

  10. Very nice!. I love the dart detail and your "sneaky" back neck closure. Merry Christmas!

  11. Love Love Love. The color, the pattern itself, the fit, everything!!!

  12. The snap is so much more elegant than the button/loop closure. And easier to manage, I bet!

  13. Merry Christmas. I love the sneaky back closure. I have a few tops with button loop closure that keep coming open when I move!! Perfect solution.

  14. Gorgeous dress, the colour and the fit. Wishing you a wonderful 2020.

  15. Lovely and it fits so beautifully! Great color!

  16. Wonderful dress, fabric, pattern. And a very clever and easy solution for the back neck opening, I will remember it. Happy New Year!