Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BWOF 06-2009-128, Dandelion Dress

BWOF 06-2009-128 Thumbnail

This dress, 06-2009-128, was one of the many patterns in the awesome June issue of Burda World of Fashion that I wanted to make as soon as I got the magazine.

When I bought this fabric in Hong Kong I thought it was snowflakes and that I would need to make a wintery dress out of it. I don't know why I thought snowflakes when each "flake" has many more than six points. I finally decided that it looked more like dandelion seeds or fireworks than snowflakes, and that the batiste-weight cotton was more suited to a Spring/Summer dress than a Fall/Winter dress so in my frenzied run-up to Spain I decided to move this up the project list.

The downside of the batiste weight is that it was no fun to sew. The needle kept breaking threads in the weave the way that silk chiffon does, even when I used a sharp or a ballpoint. This was particularly a problem on the overlay, where a lot of the sewing is on the bias because of the shape of the piece, so the thread snags would run along the longest possible line on the piece. It also had to be entirely lined, but that doesn't bother me too much. I'm glad I'm writing about this one so long after the fact (sewn in September) because now I've mostly forgotten my frustration and am just enjoying the dress.

The pleated overlay sits on top of the front bodice and is sewn as one with the bodice at the shoulders and waistline. In the editorial photo on BWOF, the overlay neckline and bodice neckline are the same so the bodice doesn't show at all underneath the overlay at the neckline. However, when you click on the dress form photo the bodice neckline shows. I'm not sure which way it's supposed to be, but I sewed it as drafted and my bodice neckline shows.

Align Seam Allowance Anyway, you finish the neckline and diagonal lower edges of the overlay before attaching it to the bodice. The instructions are concise (BWOF says "Allowance of bodice front extends at neck edge"); I figured out this meant I needed to attached the finished neckline edge of the overlay right along the stitching line of the bodice, so that the bodice seam allowance is exposed beyond the overlay. The lower diagonal edge of the overlay begins below the armscye at the side seam, so you need to baste the raw armscye edges of the bodice and overlay together. I wouldn't normally go to the trouble of basting, but I had trouble keeping the pieces together here.

Do Not Catch Overlay Rather than use BWOF's facings, I lined the bodice with batiste, and finished it in the usual way for sleeveless dresses (leave side seams and center back unsewn; assemble fashion and lining fabrics by sewing shoulder seams; place right sides together and stitch along neckline and armscye; turn right side out through strap tunnels; sew side seams). In stitching the lining to the neckline, be careful not to catch that finished neckline edge of the overlay in the seam allowance.

The pattern is designed so that the pleats are folded and sewn into the lower edge of the overlay, but it was billowing and gaping over my bust so I stitched them up almost all the way to the bust, which I tried to capture in this closeup. The batiste really worked me over here and the lines are wonky as hell, which really bothered me when I first made it (I was rushing to get everything done for Spain and didn't have time to go in, undo, and deal with it). Now that I have distance I really don't care!

The overlay could have used an SBA here (shortening along the neckline as I normally would for a wrap style), and it gapes a little in wearing, which annoys me. But because it's just an overlay it doesn't show anything, so I'll live with it.

Trena at the Alcazar, Jerez This dress is a real winner. The lightweight cotton travels beautifully--very comfortable to wear in hot weather and easily washed in the sink and air-dried overnight. I don't know that I necessarily would have gone straight for batiste, but this could have a lot of bulk in anything with a much heavier weight, so I kind of lucked out there.

Since I didn't make this until September I was sad that I'd get so little wear out of this dress this year. But then I realized I could totally wear it through Fall with tights and a cardigan! I could also wear it as a jumper. So many possibilities and now I'm excited for wearing it a little bit longer.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

26 comments:

KID, MD said...

SO cute!! That issue did have plenty of great dresses. This is fabulous and that fabric is to die for!

Trudy Callan said...

This definitely has the cute factor.

Little Hunting Creek said...

It does look more like dandelions than snowflakes or maybe even fireworks? Really cute! It will definitely work as a jumper with tights

amber said...

With how popular grey is for fall and winter fashions, that dress can definitely be worn through next year with tights and a cardigan. Really cute!

spottedroo said...

Super super cute. Definitely living up to your slogan :)

Birgitte said...

How absolutely, positively ADORABLE you look in this! And the "wintery" combo with cardi and tights (and perfect black belt and shoes) is tres chic and shows how versatile this dress is. Congrats!

Marie-Christine said...

That fabric is totally fabulous! I've also been trying to get into cotton batiste as a solution to the dog days that are nothing like DC but still get me down in the summer. I didn't have a problem, but I used a really fine silk-weight needle (Universal Schmetz, size 8 I think). Are you also paying attention to 100% cotton thread? I could see polyester really mucking things up there.

Pamela said...

The dress looks smashing with the sweater and skinny belt. I was wondering how this design might work with sleeves and a skinny obi. It's in my "for consideration" stack. Thanks for sharing the details.

elainemay said...

Super cute and I just love that print.

Venus de Hilo said...

Love it, especially with the tights and raspberry cardigan: that pink-and-grey combo is gorgeous!

Claudine said...

Cute dress, but is that grey? Are you feeling OK?

Lindsay T said...

A+ for seeing the cross-season potential and accessorizing so well.

Sue said...

Thanks for pointing that pattern out - love the fabric also!

Faye Lewis said...

That is so cute, and I love the pleated design at the bodice.

Rachel said...

I LOVE that dress and the entire outfit with tights and cardigan!!!Where did you get those tights? I love them.

Vicki said...

Great job on the dress....and very cute with the cardi and spotted tights!

Dharma said...

Very cute dress. Love the print design. The tights are an excellent addition to the "fall" look!

AuntieAllyn said...

Fabulous! I just love your style!

KellysSewing said...

This is adorable. I especially love it with that fuschia cardigan and black belt. CUTE.

gwensews said...

Cute dress. The print looks like Queen Ann's Lace.

Cindy said...

love the fabric!! It looks great with tights.

Shelley's Garden said...

I also love that June issue and that dress. Made it for summer and nearly wore out the fabric. I love that it looks like a wrap but isn't. I found pulling in an inch between bust and shoulder on both front pattern pieces simply solved the SB issue. I've just cut out another one and am going to try using a long sleeve from a Sept. issue dress. Like how you lined the dress and I think I'm going to at least try lining the dress skirt. Thank you for reporting on your edition.

AllisonC said...

Your dress is gorgeous. I might have to go back and try and find some of that fabric even if it was a bear to work with.

equatorcollection said...

Very nice! I can see the possibilities with this dress. You wear it beautifully.

senaSews said...

Cute, cute dress. I love it with the pink cardigan!

Gorgeous Things said...

Very cute dress. I like it in its plain state, but I really like it styled with the tights and sweater!