Monday, May 16, 2011

BS 02-2011-101 Summer Frock #1

So I teased a bit the other day when I asked what you get when you cross the February issue of Burda Style with a cute cotton print and some white rick rack. The answer is a new summer dress.

This is dress #101 from the "Mama Mia" pictorial.

Here is the full front:

And the tech drawings:

This is a super easy 2 dot pattern. There are only two pattern pieces to trace! That's right- just two. The skirt pieces are just rectangles. I just measured the length and tore my fabric.

Construction was easy. I lined the whole bodice using the same bodice pieces, and used an invisible zip on the left side. (I'm loving these patterns with cut on sleeves!)

My fabric is a cotton print from stash, which I jazzed up a little bit by adding rick rack to the neckline and sleeves. I used white broadcloth for the lining.

This was actually supposed to be my muslin. I made a "quick and dirty" muslin of just the bodice to check the neckline out (more on that in a sec) and then I decided to go ahead and make the full dress out of this fabric. Since I was relatively sure the dress would fit, I decided to forge ahead with the intent to make it wearable.

I started the test bodice with a straight size 44, which turned out too big through the shoulders. No surprise there. The neckline was also way too open. After making the test bodice, I also decided to add 1 and 5/8" of length to the bodice pieces. The tech drawing shows an ever so slight dropped waist and I needed extra length to get the same effect. Or so I thought...

The neckline on this thing is huge. I've had issues with wide/low necklines on Burda patterns before and I did not want to end up stuffing this dress in the back of the closet because of it. For this version I decided to retrace the pattern (all two pieces of it) using the size 42 lines through the neck and shoulders and grading out to the 44 at the bust. I also added a 1" seam allowance all the way around the neck. I only ended up using 1/4" of it. In other words, I brought the neckline in 3/4" all the way around. With the rick rack taken into consideration, it's about 7/8".

The neckline is still just barely wearable for me. I can wear a regular bra under this, but just barely. I also have to be careful about bending over- the neck gapes if I slump.

I basted the skirt on and decided that the extra length I added to my pattern was unneccessary. I went back and removed the skirt and trimmed off 1 and 5/8", plus an additional 3/8" across the back between the darts, tapering to nothing at the sides (for my good old sway back.) I think this looks more flattering with the waist seam closer to my natural waist.

It's a cute summer dress. The pattern is nice because of it's simplicity. The magazine shows it made up in organza with taffeta appliques. You can make a very casual dress or a very dressy dress depending on what fabric you use- anything from cotton or linen, to satin or silk dupioni.

The construction is easy and the dress makes up in no time flat. I like the look- the dress has a nice retro vibe, and I have some ideas for embellishments, but I don't know if I'll make it again. I'd definitely have to work on that neckline some more.

I do recommend the pattern if you like the look, but definitely make a muslin. If I hadn't added the extra seam allowance at the neckline this dress would be unwearable, both comfort-wise and modesty-wise.

After I finished this dress, I whipped up a muslin of New Look 6723 and got great results. Stay tuned for a report- it may just turn out to be my go-to summer dress!


Goosegirl said...

Oh wow! Shannon, this is exactly like the dresses I used to make for myself all the time when I was first married. I adore this style. It is so flattering on you and I love the rick rack. Very, very pretty!

Mary Nanna said...

very very nice. I have been looking at this dress myself and my internal dialogue has gone like this, "I'm too old, it's too low, it's too full at the waist, it's too.." but now I see it on you I'm thinking, "too cute to be ignored."

MushyWear said...

I've admired this dress in the Burda magazine too. So nice to hear it is an easy dress to sew. Your version is quite flattering. Love the blue print in cotton for a cool summer dress and the white rick rack is the perfect finishing touch.

Karin said...

Like the other commenters, I have been eyeing this dress in Burda too. It's great to get a review from another sewer. Thanks for the warning about the neckline!

gwensews said...

That's very pretty-has a vintage feel to it. The dress in your last post is lovely, too.

Venus de Hilo said...

Very nice, looks both flattering and comfortable (which is an awesome trick!).

Saint Nolt Sews said...

Very comfy dress. I love the clean lines and simplicity,

KID, MD said...

So cute! I was worried about that neckline, too. Good to hear I wasn't alone! Oh, Burda and your necklines... Do German women not wear bras?

Peggy's Closet said...

Beautiful dress! It is very flattering on you and will be perfect for hot weather. ~ Peggy (Peggy's Closet)

angie.a said...

We could wear our turquoise dresses together and go fabric shopping! haha. :D I think it's adorable. The neckline looks perfect now, but I know what you mean. And yes, I missed this post too. I swear my blogger feed is funky.