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?
Dress; Burdastyle 09/2010, dress 122; mustard ponte knit
Boots; di Sempre, from Zomp shoes
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.
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 :)
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.
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.