Thursday, 23 January 2014

Burda of the month: 1/2014 #107 - A summer white dress

I am the very model of efficiency this month I tell you! Not only have I finished my January Burda project within the month of January (the second Burda project I've made this month), but I also used this month's pattern as my entry into the Pattern Review Little White Dress contest. And I used some more fabric from the stash, so even if I don't rate a mention in the contest I'm already a winner. Of course if you want to vote for me I wouldn't mind at all! (You need to be a member of PR though and voting doesn't start until the 18 Feb).


I made 1/2014 #107, a dress with a cross over bodice and a lightly gathered skirt from a crisp white linen I've had in my stash for quite a few years.


I didn't make a muslin for this dress because I happen to have 5 metres of this linen, purchased in Bangkok many years ago (pre children - a lifetime ago!) and I figured that it would probably only be the bodice that may not work and anyway if it didn't work out first time I had enough fabric to cut out another. Happily though this dress worked out perfectly first time with no changes other than cutting out a size 34 at the shoulders and bust, flaring out to size 36 at the waist and using the size 40 skirt pattern piece so that I could have a few more gathers than the pattern.


Usually I have problems with cross over bodices gaping open since I have a very small bust but not only does this bodice fit closely I think those pleats on the front pieces (they are on both front pieces) give a bit more body to my skeletal chest region.  It does get a bit bulky there at the front waist seam because of those pleats meeting the gathers, so I'd recommend sticking to a lightweight fabric if you're thinking of making this dress.

The back has two small pleats at the waistline instead of darts, which I think suits this dress ok as it's a casual summer dress but if I were to make this again in a more dressier fabric I would probably convert them to darts to get a nice close finish.



As is typical with Burda patterns the skirt is about 5cm too long for me, but I left it that long so I could make a nice deep hem to give the skirt a bit of weight. I also knew that the hem would be visible because the fabric is still rather lightweight, so I decided to give the hem some visual weight too by top stitching the hem line with a triple stitch in a longer stitch - it makes the hem a feature rather a sloppy job.


I'm not particularly liking those sleeves though - they sit a bit awkwardly and finish at a rather unflattering part of my arm. And even though I pressed the seam allowances down the flip up under my arms which you can just catch a glimpse of. If I were to make this dress again I would make the sleeves a traditional cap sleeve instead and make a facing or lining under the arm opening instead.


And no I'm not doing the 'squinch' (a pose that is supposed to make you look more attractive in photos), it was either because of glare or my children being naughty behind the camera!

After getting a bit cross a few posts back about the wrinkliness of cotton sateen you must all think I'm mad making something from linen! But the difference for me is that linen is expected to wrinkle, in fact it's the hallmark of linen and something about wrinkled linen screams summer outfit to me. I've never claimed to be consistent or to make sense all the time though, have I? Anyway I underlined all the pattern pieces with a white poly-cotton because the linen is rather lightweight and too sheer to be unlined, but also because I'm hoping that underlining it with a fabric with a bit of polyester content may help reduce the wrinkling a little. I didn't bother making an additional lining though because I still want this to be a light summer dress, and the bodice front has a fold over facing which gives a nice clean edge to the fronts.

I decided to enter the Pattern Review contest on a whim after seeing this month's Burda magazine patterns and figuring I could kill two birds with one stone. I haven't entered a contest on there before, in fact I've really only become active on Pattern Review in the last year after letting my paid membership lapse for many years but I am trying to post more reviews in an effort to give back to the community there.  The competition rules require a simple, classic style that could be worn for many years and dressed up or down. I think a dress with a surplice bodice and a gathered skirt is both simple and classic and I can see me wearing this for years to come, depending on how long the fabric stays this white of course!

The entry requirement is to show the dress styled for both day and night, so here's my interpretation:


For day I chose to pair it with a tan leather bag, belt and heels and a wide brimmed white hat. During summer I'm never without a hat outdoors so this outfit really is something I would wear, but only when I don't have my children with me because a white dress to those two is like a red flag to a bull. I would barely last a microsecond before they left a grubby mark on me!


I found trying to style this for night time was a little more difficult because I probably wouldn't wear a loose fitting white dress out at night given that I have many other more sophisticated and colourful dresses already in my wardrobe. So I decided to go with classic black and white, pairing it with black peeptoe shoes, chunky black necklace and black belt. If only I had a classic Chanel camellia brooch to go with it (hint, hint husband!).

So overall this pattern is a winner, it seems to be well drafted and the style is one that is fairly easy to fit because the cross over part can be crossed over slightly more or less depending on what you need (a larger bust would probably need a FBA though I'm not an expert in that area never having needed one!), and the gathered skirt can just be drawn in to suit the finished waist circumference. Looks like my 2014 Burda challenge is off to a promising start.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. Even though there was no common theme or consistency to what I made from the Burda magazine last year I'm glad it didn't turn out like rag bag collection!

38 comments:

  1. I have to say, when I saw that dress in Burda, I was not a fan, but your version changed my mind totally. It's gorgeous! Love the fabric choice, the fit, and both ways you styled it!

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  2. I *love* it with the evening styling!!!

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  3. also *love* the triple stitched hem...will have to keep that in mind....

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  4. Sensational. Love your styling photos too. Both the day and night shot look fabulous. Total knockout.

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  5. Another of your Burda makes that is sending me to hunt down that issue. Not to be a total cloner, but I have a ton of mint-green linen that I'd love to find a project for. Well done!

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  6. The dress looks way better on you than in the model picture or the line drawing!

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  7. I didn't even recognise this dress as being in the January Burda! It looks fantastic on you and love how you have styled it for day and night.

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  8. Such a pretty, versatile dress. And I love your daytime shoes!

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  9. A crossover bodice that doesn't gape is kind of like the holy grail to me so I am really glad to see this pattern made up. The Burda line drawing looks very low cut and the fabrics in the photo are a bit offputting so to see it in plain white linen is great. I really like the dress on you, the day look with the tan accessories is particularly fab!

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  10. I love your dress, so pretty and it really says hot summer day. I especially love your evening styling. I just hope I can remember to vote on the 18th, would love it if you could post a reminder as I really feel your dress is a winner

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  11. Thank-you for making this dress as I really liked the pattern but thought the bodice wouldn't work for me because of my small bust issues. So now that you have done all the hard work, I will add it to my list. This dress really suits you and as usual, you have sewn it beautifully.

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  12. Nice frock! Both ways of styling look good.

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  13. Very pretty summer dress. Love the cross over style and it fits very well.

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  14. OMG, I am so going to make this dress. I did not rate the shocking pink horror in the magazine much, but if you are telling me it has a non-gape neckline for those of us small of bust i'm definitely in. I love it on you in white, especiall with this extra stylish hat, and I feel greatly encouraged to try more white too. I always thougth I was too pale, but you are living proof that white clothes and pale skin go together well.

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  15. A fabulous dress in every way Kristy, looks great!

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  16. Such a great classic dress! You are so game even bringing white linen into a house with small people. I'm way too afraid! Good luck in the competition :)

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  17. That dress is so cute. Well done!

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  18. That looks so summery & cool! Linen is my favorite fabric. Of course, I'm freezing my duff off here in the States, but that dress makes me long for a hot summer day.

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  19. I like your dress SO MUCH MORE than Burda's! Love the white and the neckline.

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  20. My goodness, I love this dress! The style and fabric go perfectly together. You did a great job styling for day and night too.

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  21. I agree with Joy... I hadn't been impressed by the Burda magazine, but your version is quite cute!

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  22. Pretty dress and I love those brown sandals. Tres chic

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  23. I like this dress, and how you made the skirt. It's so fresh

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  24. Such a pretty dress! Just love the complete ensemble with the hat and bag!

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  25. I love the version with black belt and necklace. So classy! I am envying you for the nice finish on the side zipper. I worked on a top with the same closure and made a slight mess (hand-stitched it in the end!) Would you have a tutorial or book you could recommend for a nice finish? Or you can be a guest at my place: food, board, lake and mountains in exchange for sewing lessons ;)

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  26. absloutely stunning! Love the dresss, much better than the original! I think the fabric Burda chose for the dress skirt was too thick and too heavy. Yours is just perfect! And you look really great in white!

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  27. This is really lovely, I echo the sentiments of the others as when I saw it in the magazine I didn't like the fabrics used but wouldn't have thought of making it in linen. Your arms look fine to me BTW. I have been so inspired by your Burda challenge that I am now going to do the same with my Knipmode subscription this year. I just need to start a blog! Ingrid

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  28. You look fabulous in white and I love how you have accessorised this classy dress.

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  29. A very lovely summer dress indeed - so versatile. Linen is just so gorgeous for summer. It really has been made very nicely. Good luck with the contest.

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  30. Linen is so cool and comfortable. I also think dressing up white for evening is a challenge and you more than met that challenge.

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  31. Love this dress. It looks stunning on you!

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  32. Love this dress! And I'm so glad you made it. The line drawing got me all excited but the model photo is AWFUL so I completely dismissed the pattern. That textured skirt fabric is the worst for a gathered skirt, but it also looks slouchy and baggy on her. You are a brave soul to go forth with this pattern with that as inspiration, and it worked out so lovely. Perfect classic summer dress!

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  33. Your sewing year is off to a great start. I'm a sucker for white with tan accessories - love it with the brown sandals and belt.

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  34. Gorgeous dress! I am, however, wondering how you get your hands on the Burda magazines so quickly...The last edition my local supplier (Magnation Melbourne) received is November 2013! Is there anywhere you can recommend?

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  35. It's stunning!! I love it! So much better than original (which doesn't atttract me at all). Wonderful job!!!

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