I have a fire lit under me of late. All I want to do is sew. Did I mention that I’m obsessed? Tonight I’m taking a little break to write the review for the Burda 5-2010-105 dress. Here’s what I just posted to Patternreview.com…
Pattern Description: From Burda: “Ute obviously looks happy in her all-round jersey dress! It is so easy-care and uncomplicated that she can easily play with Willi while wearing it. The cleverly cascading bodice is gathered by elastic at the waist and the cool shade of blue make it suitable for evening as well.” From Elizabeth: “Drapey jersey dress with elasticized waist and fitted skirt.”
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-44. I made the size 38 with some modifications (see below).
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part it did. I think my bodice could have been longer and my neckline was definitely different. Also, I shortened the skirt, and obviously my fabric choice was different as well.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, surprisingly for Burda. But this was just a one dot difficulty, so I guess it would be hard to be inscrutable at this level.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the simplicity of the pattern and the graceful folds in the bodice. I did not like that the measurements for the skirt were for someone who has no hips or thighs whatsoever. More on that later.
Fabric Used: A gorgeous rayon-lycra knit in a blue ombre from Metro Textiles in NYC.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I changed the neckline a little as I don’t like a neckline that’s too high. I feel as if I am being strangled if anything lies on my clavicles. I just traced a curved line lower than the original neckline about an inch and half lower. I could have made it a little bit lower, but like it at this level now too.
I made the skirt per the measurements given in the instructions for sz 38 (20 inches, which includes SA’s) and it was so tight you could see the outlines of my internal organs. The vision I created in this tight skirt brought new meaning to the term camel toe. Who knew camel toes were even possible in skirts?!?! (Sadly no pictures survived from this stage of construction – must have been a freak accident.) So, I added 1.5 inches to each panel, front and back and all is now right with the world and also g rated. Oh and I shortened the skirt to above the knee as I think it looks more current.
I did not finish the neckline with a facing as directed. Just lazy I guess. I just turned over the edges and stitched it down with a narrow zigzag stitch. Am I happy with it? Not really. The unfinished SA’s keep flipping out. Am I going to redo it? No. My perfectionism only goes so far. Ok, now that I’ve said that, my OCD might kick in and I might unpick those stitches and finish it differently somehow. But it’s a 50/50 chance at this point.
As I do not have access to Burda’s much beloved Vilene Bias Tape, I used a knit interfacing that I cut myself using the sleeve pattern as a guide. If you do this as well, please make sure that you cut it slimmer than the sleeve hem allowance as I did not. Why, you ask? Well, because I didn’t do that, if one looks inside my sleeves, one can see said interfacing. So, please don’t look inside my sleeves.
Also, I did not twin needle anything. My fabric did not like the twin needle I used. Admittedly, it was not a stretch twin needle, but I could not purchase one on the fly and really wanted to finish my dress.
The most significant change I made was to add a lining to the skirt. Per Trena’s advice in her review (she added a lining after the fact) so I added mine during construction. All I did was baste the lining to the fashion fabric right sides together, graded the SA, sewed the skirt/lining to the bodice right sides together, pressed the SA up towards the bodice, and then finally sewing the SA to the bodice as a casing for the elastic. This made for a very clean interior. But adding the lining created a heavier skirt, so I highly recommend using a wider elastic than Burda recommends. I used a 1/2 inch elastic. It worked perfectly for the weight of the skirt. Adding a lining to such a close fitting jersey skirt has a smoothing effect for lumps and bumps, not to mention your undergarments, so I would definitely not go without lining this skirt or wearing a slip.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? While I love my dress, I am not sure I will sew it again as it is such a distinctive silhouette. Also, I am in a sewing for work phase and this dress is a little too MILF-like for a staid high finance office atmosphere. I had hoped to be able to wear it to the office, but my arbiter of style (aka my sister) said it was too casual for the office (that’s code for, “the ASSets on your balance sheet are showing too much”).
If I were to make this dress ever again, I would make only one more change to the pattern. I would make the bodice about 1.5 to 2 inches longer as it appears that the Burda model has more drape over the elasticized waist than I do. I am still finding my bearings regarding what kinds of alterations I need to make on a regular basis. Obviously I am long waisted as is evidenced by the last few patterns I’ve made. I wish I was also long legged, but, alas, that is not the case.
I would definitely recommend this pattern to any level of sewist. I think the pattern is easy enough for beginners, but that the resulting dress will appeal to advanced sewists as well. I definitely suggest adding a lining and checking that the measurements work for you and your body.
And now for some pictures of the dress on me. I actually think the dress is much more pretty and flattering in person. The fabric and drapey-ness don’t come across well in these photos.
As a PS, I made lemonade out of the too tight skirt that I constructed originally following the Burda measurements (with a lining I might add indignantly). I am making it into a skirt for my sister on whom it fits beautifully. She and I have such different figures, i.e., she’s a lot thinner than I am. I am so glad that this beautiful ombre fabric will not be wasted. And I know she will love the skirt.
Conclusion: Great pattern, easy to sew, very current but classic. Make this dress! You won’t be sorry. Great date night dress. I hope I get a chance to wear it on a date really soon. ;)