January Burda of the Month: vintage dress 1/2015 #126

Sunday, 1 February 2015
I finished my first Burda of the month project yesterday on the very last day of January (already?!) so I managed to meet this month's self imposed deadline just in time. I found it hard to choose this month between a boxy top with an attached draped scarf across the shoulders that I could see made in a nice midnight blue silk or satin or the vintage dress pattern. In the end my fabric stash determined my choice because I have plenty of dress fabrics but not much in the way of silk or satin so I went with the dress, although with a few modifications:

My apologies - between the wallpaper and the print on my dress there's a lot of pattern going in these photos!

For some reason this pattern isn't available for download on the Burda Style website, so you'll have to track down a copy of the magazine if you want this one I'm afraid.

original images from Russian Burda Style
The obvious change I made to the pattern was to swap the full skirt for a fitted skirt, using the lower part of my trusty TNT fitted dress, New Look 6968. As much as I like the look of a full skirt on a dress, when I'm wearing one I feel like I'm in fancy dress but a fitted skirt is much more my style. I went to the effort to shift the darts on the skirt so that it aligned with the darts on the bodice, but of course you can't see that because the fabric is so busy!

Also obscured by the busy print are those gathers on the sleeves - it's the main feature of the dress so it's a pity I didn't think a bit more about it when I chose this fabric. I do like the extended width of the sleeves though, a bit of shoulder coverage always makes me feel a little less casual and better dressed.

The size range for this pattern is 36 - 44, so I had to grade the bodice down a size since I usually sew a size 34. I don't think I did a great job in the sizing down because it looks a little too big still with some excess fabric around my bust. Plus the sleeves turned out to be very low cut to the point where there are glimpses of my bra strap if I lift my arm. But looking closer at the pattern drawing and the model's version it looks like that side seam stops at the top of the waist darts which means it is below the bust line.

I did contemplate pulling it apart and taking it in at the side seams and gathering the width of the sleeve a little more to make it narrower, but that join at the underarm between the fabric and the lining was really fiddly so I've decided to leave it be, I just need to remember to wear a nice bra with this dress in case anyone gets an accidental peek!

Because I made the lower half from my TNT dress pattern I managed to get a close fit with no fabric pooling around my swayback:

I switched the size zip to a centre back invisible zip because I wanted to keep the walking vent of the skirt at the centre back. Doing this also meant I could fully line the bodice using the method where you sew the neckline and sleeve edges , pull the back pieces through the shoulder area and then do the side seams and centre back seam last - it's a much neater finish and easier too.

The fabric is a printed cotton bought from Spotlight quite a few years ago that I've been wanted to use for a long time because I really like it even though it's a weird looking flower print and the colours are bright fuschia with lime green micro polka dots. I'm not sure if the print is deliberately on a slight diagonal or if it's printed off grain, but that hem is straight even it doesn't look that way. But the good thing about the busy print is that it hides the bad with the good!

My verdict: I like this style, it has a vintage vibe without being too over the top and therefore wearable in everyday life. The pattern is ok but I do think the sleeves might be drafted quite low under the arm and I would fix that if I ever made this pattern again. I should have muslined the bodice first to find that out and fix it, but life is too short to make a muslin for each and every project. I probably also should have also picked a solid fabric to show off those sleeve gathers better, but I am glad I've finally made something with this fabric, so despite the faults I'll definitely be wearing this dress, 

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