Monday, June 24, 2013

BurdaStyle 04-2013-109

I just finished BurdaStyle 04-2013-109A yesterday and I am tickled pink with it.

You may remember it as the cover dress for the April issue.  I was immediately struck by it's simplicity and the calm blue tones of the model dress.  It also appeared, at first glance, to have a sort of boat neckline- one of my favorites.

The technical drawing, however, was slightly off-putting.  The design was intriguing, but it looked like it would require a special bra, and there was almost no shaping, other than the tiny darts angling down from the armholes and a hint of curve in the side seams.
Fortunately I saw the dress  made up online.  I wish I could remember where so I could link to it.  (If you've made it, let me know!)  I decided to go ahead and make a muslin.  And I'm so glad I did.  I couldn't be happier with the finished dress.

This is a simple shift dress, with a high, round neckline (although not quite as high and small as the photo below would have you believe,) cut in shoulders, bust darts, and  minimal waist shaping.
 I  cut a size 42 through the shoulders, a 44 at the bust, and graded out to a 46 at the hip.  (The pattern is offered in sizes 34 to 42, but the pattern pieces are so simple that grading up- or down- is a breeze.)   I also made a 3/8" petite adjustment above the bust, and I added 1.25" of length at the waist, both standard adjustments for me.

I fully expected, when I made my muslin, to have to add a couple of vertical darts in back for shaping.  But I decided I quite like the slim, straight fit.  It's comfortable, and much more flattering than I thought it would be.  So no additional darts.

The pattern is cut pretty slim.  I almost always cut a 46 at the hip- that's my size.  But I found with my muslin that there just wasn't enough room if I wanted to sit or walk.  You can see in the photo below that even on the slender model, the hips are almost snug.

I was able to compensate by taking a 3/8" seam allowance at the hip.  That gave me enough extra room to make the dress work.

Even though this dress is super simple, I highly recommend making a muslin.  I am so glad I did, because if I'd gone straight to my fashion fabric, this would have been a wadder!  The armholes on this are low.  I had to raise them 1.25" just to barely cover my bra band.  And that's after making that petite adjustment.  Oh, and by the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I can wear this with my favorite regular bra- no racer back or special bra required!

Burda rates this as a 3 dot pattern, but that's because the blue view is lined and has beads and gems hand sewn at the neckline.  My dress is not lined.  I did not use the facing pieces provided either.  I found with my muslin that I could wiggle into and out of the dress without a closure.  So I omitted the button closure at the back of the neck (another good reason to make a muslin- to see if you can get it on over your head.)  I did install an invisible zip in the left side seam, just because it was easy, it made the dress seem a little nicer, and I didn't want to strain my fabric getting in and out of it.  The neckline and armholes are finished with black bias binding.

And speaking of fabric, I used black linen embroidered with 1" high palm trees which I've had marinating in my stash for a few years.  It's one of those fabrics that looking back, I don't know what I was thinking when I bought 4 yards of it!  I'd been looking for something simple with few seams so I didn't have to worry with cutting through and sewing over the heavily embroidered trees.  This seemed perfect.

And even though the fabric is black, the loose fit combined with the linen make this dress cool and comfortable.  I just can't get over how much I love this dress.  It's very simple, bordering on plain, but I love it.  I feel quite chic and sophisticated in this.  And the palm trees remind me of home- Savannah, GA.

I have no plans to make this again right now.  I have a ton of other projects on my to-do list.  But I would definitely make it again if the right fabric presented itself.  I'd love to try it in a novelty fabric, maybe with some embroidery or jewel embellishments like the model in the magazine.

I'm so pleased with the way this turned out that I pulled a couple of patterns out of my stash that have a similar silhouette that I've been too afraid to try before now.  In fact, one of my next projects will be a similar straight cut dress from Burda.

Long live the shift dress!


Faye Lewis said...

That's a great looking dress. Love the racer cut.

Kyle said...

Those palm trees are a riot! It looks great!
I agree, long live the shift dress. Have you seen S1609, a shift dress with the scalloped peter pan collar? I have to get that!

Dk's Wife said...

It looks great on you. :)

Tee said...

Very pretty, great fit!

Kristy said...

I love your dress. I made this too, and like you was quite surprised at how flattering it is given how minimal shaping there is.

Anonymous said...

This looks great. Love the palm trees.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

And what a wonderful shift dress it is! I understand why you love it so much because it looks fantastic on you!

Baking Soda said...

I would never have thought it to be so nice from the technical drawings alone! I loved the dress as shown on the cover but would never consider it because it would be too straight on me (my widest point is top of the thighs) rendering me all square.

Looks so great on you, thank you for trying it out!