Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mustard Bandage

A mustard plaster is of course an ancient herbal remedy for bronchitis, but I have borrowed and blended the phrase, and named my new dress the mustard bandage, since it reminds me of the Herve Leger bandage dresses that have been so iconic since the 80's.
The pattern is from the 09/2010 Burdastyle magazine, a gift in a recent giveaway from Alexandra Mason... thank you so much Alex!  This is dress 122, the cover dress.  It is a very modern, almost space-agey design, don't you think?  The dress has no side seams.  Those curved front pieces wrap around the sides to the back and join onto the long, narrow, shaped central back piece.  And I really love the disparate shapes; the juxtaposition of the blocky geometric angularity of those rectangular sleeve bands against the more organic, gently curved, nesting seam-lines on the body; a very visually pleasing effect to my eye and so interesting!
I used a piece of thick ponte knit given to me by my mother; the fabric originally given to her by a lady in her sewing group!  I just love the rich tobacco/mustard shade, a colour that is one of my best.
I finished all the raw edges for stability by overlocking before I started,  and I like how this makes the insides of the dress look.  That excess fabric in the seam allowance in the small-of-the-back (below right) was removed later on; I just included this picture to illustrate how I adjusted for fit through those long vertical seams in the back
The instructions to finish the sleeve bands are vague; and if I read them correctly, seem to result in an unsatisfactory (to me) finish with raw edges showing.  I finished mine in a way that the raw edges would be neatly hidden inside the sleeve band instead.  Described in more detail in my review below, if you are interested  :)
There is one small issue with the dress, not enough to stop me from wearing it:  Comparative to the cover shot of the dress; the second seamline falls high, right on my bustline, and the neckline also sits a lot higher on me.  When I tug my dress down it looks like the cover shot, but then it slowly and inexorably migrates back up again, all by itself, like a sneaky puppy-dog onto the couch.  Sure, I am not a petite, admittedly for whom the pattern is designed, but I didn’t think that would make a difference up that high!  Although, when you check out the shot of the dress inside the magazine (at right), that seamline is sitting at exactly the same point on the model as it does on me.  So (shrug) mmm.  Maybe they just tugged it down real firmly for the model in the cover shot too?  :D
Anyhoo, I don't know if that says anything about my figure at all, but I don't really care.  Because:
I feel goooood in this dress!  It is a modest dress with plenty of coverage, and yet it still manages to be sorta svelte and sex-ay.  That’s gotta be a very good thing, right?

Details:
Dress; Burdastyle 09/2010, dress 122; mustard ponte knit
Tights; Kolotex
Boots; di Sempre, from Zomp shoes


Pattern Description:
Sheath dress with armhole bands that look like sleeves and avant-garde seaming.  There are no side seams and all the shaping is achieved through the unusually shaped, curved seams.
Pattern Sizing:
Burda petite half sizes 17-21; I made the size 19
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Yes.  Except that the seamlines fall on my body in slightly different locations, ahem, which could be due to the pattern being sized for a 160cm tall woman?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the dress is an exceptionally easy construction; all the seams are numbered and you pretty much just sew them in order from one to ten.  The second-last step, the instructions for adding the armhole bands, were verging on being head-scratchingly convoluted in that manner Burdastyle sometimes employs… and seemed to indicate that you ended up with a bias strip on view inside the finished armhole band, which I did not like.  I finished mine in a way that meant all the seams allowances, including the armhole band and upper armhole edge seam allowances; were nicely tucked away inside the band, and hidden out of sight.  Much more pleasing!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It is such a flattering dress; with an interesting and very well thought out design.
The pattern is exceptionally well drafted.  While I was sewing together those front bands I was just marveling at how well the unusual shaped pieces went together so perfectly and achieved “shape” with no darting or tucking needed.  So clever! 
The pattern is sized for the Burdastyle petite woman 160cm tall.  I am 172cm tall which does not put me in the petite category so I had concerns about how the pattern was going to work out for me.  My piece of fabric was barely big enough to squeeze out the pattern pieces, so I could not make any major adjustments to my pattern pieces, but because it is a stretch knit and the pictured dress was so long I figured that I could work out any little body fitting issues as I was sewing it up.  I needn't have worried though, since it fits just fine  :)
Fabric Used:
Ponte knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I had to adjust the two vertical back seams to get a good fit for my sway-backed pear shape; but this was pretty easy.  I took out about 4cm in total the lower rib cage area and the small of the back, and graduated out to a fairly narrow hip seam allowance.
I sewed the armhole bands on my own way, namely the right side of the armhole bands sewn to the dress in one single seam, and no trimming but simply turned under the seam allowance of the self facing (like you would a waistband facing) and hand slip-stitched it back onto the band, enclosing the upper armhole seam allowance inside the band as well, out of sight.  My way seemed simpler than the Burdastyle instructions, and ends up with a neat clean finish.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I wouldn’t rule out sewing this one again, although I think I need just the one for now.  I do recommend this flattering and smart dress to others. 
Conclusion:
I love this design; very reminiscent of the Herve Leger bandage dresses of the eighties, with their distinctive horizontal ‘bandage” bands making for a slim-fitting, body conscious silhouette…
This pattern is in the Business wear category, and I agree, this would make a great little number to wear to the office; modest, smart and stylish, not too out-there but still with unique lines and details.  I’m planning for mine to be an integral part of the coming Spring party season; comfortable and easy to wear, while still edgy and interesting.

40 comments:

  1. This looks SO good on you! That issue happens to be the only Burda mag I have (I got it for the ubiquitous Turtle-T). If I wore dresses, and if I had a body like yours, I would be all over that dress; it somehow manages to be so unique and elegant at the same time. Good job!

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  2. I love this pattern! golden road has quickly become one of my favourite colours...it suits your red hair perfectly!

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  3. What a fantastic dress. The color is on top 3 in Denmark this fall and I love it

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  4. You've picked an amazing design. It's great.
    As a petite I'm sure the bust line would be high on me too.
    Great colour and fit too.

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  5. Wow! Lovely! You look great in the dress and the background sets it off nicely. Is there a zipper or some sort of closure on the dress? It doesn't look like it, so I thought I would ask.

    Rose in SV

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  6. Rose: thank you! no there is no zip; the dress is for stretch knits and is just pulled over your head.

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  7. wow it looks great. interesting design too

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  8. i love that dress, i've made it for me too and i love wear it.

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  9. I love this dress and have done so since I found the magazine in the library. It is on my wish list for next winter. I imagined it in blocks of colour. I really like your solid coloured version as well.

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  10. Nice fit! This dress looks like a lot of work with all those seams, but it is an eye-catcher.

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  11. Amazing that you can wear that colour and look good; it makes most of us look ill. I think a good part of the satisfaction in sewing must come from looking good in a finished garment. I'm coming to realise I'm unhappy with my body, so can't get excited about dressing it. I need to find a way past that. I love the inside of the dress, too. I think you may be as much artist as seamstress...

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  12. Looks lovely on you and you've managed to get a great fit

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  13. What a fantastic job you did with this one! I attempted the skirt only and I had such a hard time with it! The cut must be very accurate to have all the seams matching. And the colour is fantastic! Lovely!

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  14. I didn't notice that the seam line fell where it did until you pointed it out; I think it looks fantastic, like Merche said! And I'm sure the Burda stylist tugged the heck out of the dress to get it to lay lower for the photo shoot!

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  15. Lovely to see this made up. The sleeves are too cool and add to the whole sex appeal. Definitely space age.

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  16. Your dress is gorgeous! Thanks for showing a picture of the inside, lots of seam details there. Once again, great job.

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  17. Oh it's like the good caramel- it just melts all over you and looks fabulous! I love it.

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  18. Lovely, lovely, lovely. You're right, it's modest but still quite a hot number somehow. Perfect combination.

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  19. It is a lovely color and lovely dress on you!

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  20. STUNNING! Great colour and I LOOOOOVE the sleeves.

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  21. What a great dress, and especially so on your long and lean figure. All those seams provide so many fitting opportunities. Love this and I know you will find the perfect occasion to wear it.

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  22. This is a very pretty and unique dress. How lucky are you to have the talent to make all of your own clothes.

    In case you didn't see my comment on the older post with the panne velvet dress...wow its great. I now want one badly.

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  23. That looks great! I think it's the first version I've seen with the armhole bands and you make them look really good. Thanks for the construction details. I had the same issue with the seamline falling over the bust. I lengthened the pattern pieces to move it down, but it has made it a little baggy around the bust.

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  24. Fantastic - looks way better on you than the model, if I have to be honest. Love the colour and this style really suits you.

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  25. I've been thinking about making this dress, too. I'm obsessed with sateen dresses and I have a red piece I standing by and waiting. I'm glad you showed your fitting alterations because I think I will need to do the same thing. I love mustard but I can't wear it close to my face but it looks great on you.

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  26. This is a great dress on you. The seaming is terrific. I hadn't seem one in blogland with the sleeve bands, and they look very smart and edgy.

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  27. Smooooth and sexy, that's this dress. I love its lines, and its modern silhouette. Very stunning on you!

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  28. Gorgeous dress and love the colour.

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  29. Another great dress but I could barely get past your first line in this post - you mentioned a mustard plaster! I think you may be the only non-relative I know who is familiar with this item, the bane of my childhood and many winters with lots of respiratory ills. Oh I would run the other way when the dreaded mustard plaster would be mentioned. Definitely my laugh today reading that.

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  30. Wow, you look fantastic in this dress! Quite a success!! I have this Burda mag and was wondering about this pattern (being also part of the "pear" shape team :-)and you looking so good in it you're kind of convincing me to give it a try... As always thank you for being so generous in sharing your experience with us!
    JJP

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  31. Awesome dress, very cool design and it looks beautiful on you Cazza. :)

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  32. This looks super on you! Very pretty dress!

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  33. That's awesome! I traced this up ages in a 36 (18) which is the wrong size for me so I've put it up for swap. Perhaps some day I'll trace it again-this certainly makes me want to XD

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  34. That dress is really lovely and so flattering on you. I wonder if our library has Burda magazines..... Sorry I couldn't stop and chat the other day, but I'm sure we'll bump into each other again soon :)

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  35. This dress looks fantastic on you! And all the seams do make it look like a time-consuming pattern, but well worth the effort :).

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  36. I can't believe you say you are pear shaped :o) You look fantastic in it. I loved this dress from the moment the issue came out...still I have't had the time to make it. I made the skirt last year. Thanks for reminding about my long overdue sewing list :o)

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  37. I am thinking about this dress, but I am 20 cm taller then 160, so I should make some alteration, but this pattern is not very simple, I think%(

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