This past weekend I put the finishing touches on dress #121 from the June issue of Burda Style and took it out for a road test.
This short knit dress was pictured like so in the magazine:
Here's what Burda had to say about it: A stunning entrance and a great dress! It absolutely hugs the figure with gathered front and back seams, and sewn without a zipper. The sumptuous fabric takes it over the top for a real statement piece. The short kimono sleeves, with the double pointed darts, sit perfectly.
I have to say, it was the center front and back gathers that drew me to this dress. I thought they looked very flattering on the model and could possibly work for me, too. Burda has done dresses similar to this before, but this time I just had to make it.
It is a figure-hugging dress, but the cut is perfect and the gathers sit just so across the lower back- no swayback adjustment needed!
The pattern is offered in sizes 34-42 and I knew I would have to grade up, but it was super easy. I graded up to a 44 from shoulder to hip and to a 46 from the hip to the hem. That was the only change I made- I didn't add any length at the waistline like I normally do. I "eyeballed' the pattern and it looked like it was plenty long enough... and it was. The fit is spot on.
I did find that this pattern runs long. I traced and cut on the longer skirt line for this view (with a 1" hem allowance) and I ended up cutting about 3.5 inches off.
The pattern is super simple to put together. There are only 5 pieces including facings, but it is a 3 dot pattern, probably due to the underarm gussets. You have to sew 4 inset corners- 2 front and 2 back. You can see a close up of the gusset above. It extends from the sleeve hem to the waist and adds shape and interest to the simple design.
I didn't really use the instructions (it's pretty intuitive) except for the measurements to gather the CF and CB. I didn't like the way Burda said to sew the CF and CB together, so I cut a length of stay tape and gathered first one side to the tape and then the other. The tape is hidden in the seam allowance and adds stability to the seam, but no bulk.
The collar can be worn open or closed. You could easily add a button and loop at the neckline if you wanted to. I like it both ways, but I'll wear this one open because I foolishly forgot to interface my facings and my collar is limp and wants to flop.
I ended up hand sewing the bottom of the neckline slit closed about an extra 1.25". It wasn't particularly scandalous, but it looks better this way because the lack of interfacing left it unsupported and it pulled awkwardly. Oh, well. It's a work dress, anyway.
Burda describes the fabric in the model photo as "sumptuous" and I knew fabric choice would be key for this dress. I found this ITY knit at JoAnn's and instantly fell in love with the gorgeous blues and greens and the stylized floral mosaic design. It was perfect for this dress, which, by the way, takes only 2 yards!
I love the way this turned out. It looks great, it's comfortable, it doesn't take much fabric, and it's easy to sew. My daughter likes it, too. That's why I already traced and cut one out for her! I highly recommend this pattern and I might even make it again for myself. I don't know that one is enough!