Thursday, November 24, 2016

Finished (Kind of): Burda 08/2016

I probably cursed this project by stealing the fabric I intended for my daughter's dress! :)

I'd taken notice of this dress before and when I pulled the fabric I really fell in love with it! I purchased this from Fabric Mart a few years ago and it was labeled denim. It is not. It's some type of bottom weight that's denim colored. I figured a casual fabric would take this fitted number down a notch and make it work with the casual dress code of my office.

Burda 08/2016 #124
Seeing that the skirt went up to size 42, I added 5/8" to the back skirt at the side seam. I really should have added additional side seam allowances as insurance but I added the bare minimum - 3/8"! 

I usually shy away from patterns with a lot of pieces in the mag. I don't mind tracing but tracing and adding SAs to a lot of pieces bogs me down.

This pattern has 12 pieces plus the belt and carriers. Because the fabric was dark, solid and tightly woven, I opted to add SAs directly to the fabric. My chalk liner worked amazingly well with this one! I use my seam gauge and go around, 'connecting the dots' when I cut it out.

The instructions are REALLY weird on this. I posted the below to Instagram because of the sheer ridiculousness of it! LOL!

I've never seen instructions tell you to insert a zipper into the bodice and then attach the skirt AFTER the fact, and then finish sewing the zipper into the skirt. Mind boggling. 

The one thing I questioned that did make sense was the front. I was thinking of it as a traditional facing but it is a faced opening. So you would want to sew the facings before sewing the CF seam. 

Sewing went pretty well with the basic pieces and I was contemplating top-stitching. My thread collection has dwindled and I couldn't find a blue that I loved (the orange was WAY too bright).

I basted the side seams to check for fit and RUH-ROH! It was SNUG. I admit to not flat measuring, which I normally do, but I was still surprised at how tight it was. I went to double check that it didn't call for fabric "with stretch" because Burda loves stretch fabric.

I decided I would add a gusset! I measured and measured and played around with the shape:

I ended up with this:

This did not work out. It gave me more room through the waist/high hip but that isn't actually where I needed it. Once I could comfortably zip the dress, I realized the waist was okay but the actual hip area was too snug causing it to ride up.

excess after adding the gusset

I tried to reshape it, tried splitting it in two, but couldn't get everything connecting well. I ended up removing the gusset and just sewing it up. I only had 3/8" side seams and the fabric was slowly unravelling with all the unpicking. 

So it is just a bit too small. This prompted me to re-measure myself

Sooooo yeah. When I am less fluffy, it will fit fine I'm sure!

I made another huge mistake. Somehow, I did not add seam allowances to the bodice (at the skirt attachment seam). So I keep wanting to yank it down. The positioning of the belt helps, but it's RIGHT under my bust which doesn't look bad, but I guess I'd rather the belt than a visible too-high seam. 

And with all that, I still love the dress LOL! LOVE the overall shape, love the length, love the silhouette, love the belt. Love. Love. Love. Will love it more when I can sit in it and raise my arms ;-)

Size 42 with back skirt graded to ~44
5/8" full bicep adjustment
I added hem allowances (I normally don't) - 1 1/4" 
I don't like this dart Burda adds with princess seams. It never works for me and it seems to small and too short to do much with it. Maybe I can just rotate it into the princess seam??

Facings attached to zipper and tacked at shoulder seams and CF by hand

My hands were bothering me so I didn't touch my machine for a good 5 days or so. I decided I needed to get this one finished, even if it doesn't actually fit right now, and got my belt carriers ready. My machine rewarded me with perfect bar tacks!

Speaking of, Burda always calls for extra wide carriers. Hate them. I cut strips of fabric 1 5/8" wide, serge one end, turn the raw edge in 1/2", turn the serged edge in, and topstitch.

Most of those wrinkles can be ignored because I'm confident they're a result of "I don't fit you"

If you're in the US, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

I won't get much sewing done over the long weekend (it's going to be a busy one for me), but I do plan on eeking out my November Burda garment before the month is over. 


  1. denim is a great choice and it is so cute, sorry about the fit. I just finished this dress (stop copying me - ha ha :) and I love it. hope to post it soon. Also re: the zipper instructions: I very often do it just that way, sew the zipper into the bodice, do the final fit and then attach the skirt. this allows you to adjust the back waist seam, usually moving it up a bit. I hope you repeat this pattern it is such a nice dress.

    1. Too late! We are pattern twins! LOL!!!

      Ah, now that I read that, I can see what YOU mean. With Burda it was just weird! I do plan to sew it again because I really like it. I have a sateen that I think would work very well.

  2. I had to know the story of this dress after seeing all your fitting pics on Instagram! I think it looks pretty good in the end. Besides, aren't projects like this just an excellent excuse to sew up another version of the pattern? ;)

    1. Ha! Thanks and yes this is definitely one that can be repeated!!!

  3. It's a pretty and classy dress KS. You are to be commended for tracing and adding seam allowances. I've done it once or twice and won't say that I will not do it again, but it is a whole lot of work.

    1. Thanks Faye! It isn't my favorite but for Burda, I do it! :)

  4. That dress is definitely worth making again! The style looks good on you, though it ended up snug. Also, I love your label!!!!!!!!!!! I have some nice ones I ordered that I am excited about using too.

    1. Thanks Vanessa!

      I need more labels. There were really basic ones (printed on satin ribbon) and I want woven ones now! :)

  5. I love this dress and it is on my list too! I have inserted zips this way - Beth is right, can be a handy technique. And it is easier to tweak the waist seam if things aren't quite matching. I rarely do it, because I tend to do muslins first. Such a great pity you have to wait a while to wear this - it really is just too gorgeous to wait for...

  6. P.S. I think the darts/princess seams work for some shapes and not others. They work for me, I love them.

  7. Very cute dress Ms. Nakisha! So sorry it doesn't fit and definitely can relate with that! I recently made something I didn't "flat fit" and had the same issue. (I won't be posting that one's trashed already!!) I hope you do make it again!

    1. Thanks Myra! This one is so close that honestly I'm not worried and think it'll be wearable once I get past my holiday fluff!

  8. Despite the trials you had with the dress, it is super cute. I need to get my Burda game on. Are you doing the BAM next year?

  9. This is SO CUTE! I love this kind of dress and regardless of the fit issues, it still looks good, nothing some control top panty hose won't fix is what I always tell myself :). Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Lovely dress! The color is a nice shade of blue. Sorry it is a little too tight. I am experiencing that new bloat/fluffiness since Thanksgiving.


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