Burda of (last) month: 4/2014 #117 - the criss cross dress

Thursday, 8 May 2014
I finished my April Burda of the month project a few days ago but haven't had a chance to photograph it yet. Honestly it turned out rather bad so I was tempted just to bin it but I wanted to reassure you all that I'm only human and make my fair share of wadders too! I did intend this to be a hopefully wearable muslin and I do have extra fabric to fix up the issues and remake it, but sadly I'm lacking enthusiasm for spending anymore time on it right now.

In the April issue of Burda I was immediately drawn to dress #117 which has a flattering cross over front and three quarter raglan sleeves. Doesn't the model look angelic in her white dress with her handsome boyfriend in a white kitchen?:

Too good to be true in the way only Burda can achieve! I made my version in a teal green ponte knit that I ordered on line from Girl Charlee fabrics. When it arrived the colour was more subdued than I had hoped from a fabric described as teal green, but the fabric felt weighty with a good amount of recovery so I thought it would be well used as a first version of this dress that I was hoping would be a wearable muslin but no harm done if it didn't turn out well.  And turn out badly it did!

Shall we start with the good before moving on to the really bad? I love those diagonal darts in the back - they are unusual but still achieved a close fit for me so I may frankenpattern this back onto other patterns so I can used this feature again. The back pattern pieces are drafted well and those darts align perfectly:

The front however is just terribly, terribly sad. I made the smallest size at the bust line, size 17, but there is way too much fabric causing ripples and folds in all sorts of unflattering spots. I need to pinch out a fair amount of fabric in the triangle area underneath the bust darts which extend from the centre front to the side:

Even lifting my arms up didn't help with those folds and bulges of fabric along the dart lines:

So I need to completely re-do that bodice to pinch out the extra fabric because this version is totally unwearable. The neckline doesn't gape too badly though, and although it's low it doesn't reveal my bra so really it's not that low for Burda standards.

I found the instructions to be completely baffling, and I really tried hard to follow them this time. I think their method meant the top cross over piece was left unstitched where it crossed over the under cross over piece, with the seam allowances folded under, which now that I look closely at the line drawings might actually be what they meant.  Their method didn't make any sense to me at all and in the end I followed the photo instructions that Sigrid helpfully has in her pattern review - this way was much better but it still involved a small bit near the triangle top of the skirt at the centre front unsewn. I just used a bit of steam a seam to glue the bits together! Inside of the dress is a complete mess because of the overlapping facings and darts of the complicated front.

So will I make this again? Probably not - I like the idea of the pattern but the arrangement of the front pieces is just messy, even if I did manage to get rid of the excess fabric. Onwards and upwards to the next pattern! And the added bonus is that this fabric didn't even make it to the fabric stash from the letter box. I might just cut it in half and make a straight skirt from it, if I can think of a suitable top to wear with it - it's a very difficult colour to find a complementary colour top.

Finally thanks for all your wishes regarding my father in law and Anna. Anna's arm is healing very well and she has a brand new purple cast which she not only loves but weighs less and is slim enough to wear under her normal clothes which makes it a bit easier.

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